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Early Vancouver 

Volume Two 

By: Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 

2011 Edition (Originally Published 1933) 

Narrative of Pioneers of Vancouver, BC Collected During 1 932. 
Supplemental to volume one collected in 1931. 

About the 2011 Edition 

The 2011 edition is a transcription of the original work collected and published by Major Matthews. 
Handwritten marginalia and corrections Matthews made to his text over the years have been incorporated 
and some typographical errors have been corrected, but no other editorial work has been undertaken. 
The edition and its online presentation was produced by the City of Vancouver Archives to celebrate the 
125 th anniversary of the City's founding. The project was made possible by funding from the Vancouver 
Historical Society. 

Copyright Statement 

© 201 1 City of Vancouver. Any or all of Early Vancouver may be used without restriction as to the nature 
or purpose of the use, even if that use is for commercial purposes. You may copy, distribute, adapt and 
transmit the work. It is required that a link or attribution be made to the City of Vancouver. 


High resolution versions of any graphic items in Early Vancouver are available. A fee may apply. 

Citing Information 

When referencing the 201 1 edition of Early Vancouver, please cite the page number that appears at the 
bottom of the page in the PDF version only, not the page number indicated by your PDF reader. Here are 
samples of how to cite this source: 

Footnote or Endnote Reference: 

Major James Skitt Matthews, Early Vancouver, Vol. 2 (Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 201 1 ), 33. 

Bibliographic Entry: 

Matthews, Major James Skitt. Early Vancouver, Vol. 2. Vancouver: City of Vancouver, 201 1 . 

Contact Information 

City of Vancouver Archives 

1 150 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 3J9 

604.736.8561 ->, v , s~~~~ L-l I T Ur VAMr'OI l\/FR 



Arms :- Gules on a pile ermine between 
two swords erect proper pomelled and 
hi 1 ted or, a rose of the first barbed 
and seeded proper* Crest :-On a wreath 
argent and gules in front of a rising 
sun or, a maple leaf proper 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_001 

Early Vancouver 

Volume 2 


Narrative of Pioneers of Vancouver, B.C. 

Collected during 1932. Supplemental to Volume 1 collected in 1931. 

J.S. Matthews, Vancouver, 1933 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_002 

Indian Villages and landmarks. Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound, Before the 
whiteman came to ulksen (point grey). 

The populous Indian communities of the Musqueam and Squamish tribes, resident before the advent of 
the whitemans upon the shores of English Bay and Burrard Inlet and adjacent waters, had numerous 
appellations in their own tongue for localities within their territories, a practice no less necessitous to 
residents in a land clothed with forest as are the names of streets in a city to us. 

These Indian place names, once so numerous, have fallen into almost complete disuse; one only, the 
Indian village of Musqueam on the North Arm of the Fraser River, first mentioned by Simon Fraser in his 
Journal of the exploratory expedition down the Fraser in August 1808, as "Misquiame," survives to be 
used by English speaking people as the designation of a place within the limits of the city of Vancouver. 
The names Kitsilano and Capilano are creations, founded on Indian names. 

Excepting the more elderly Indians, survivors of pre-railway days, now numbering probably ten or a dozen 
only, together with two or three white pioneers, all knowledge of the sixty or more place names in and 
about Vancouver Harbour, appears to have been lost. A few of the younger Indians are aware of one or 
two names; even among the older Indians none can give a complete list. The following list was prepared 
by the City Archivist, Major J. S. Matthews, after diligent enquiry among a large number of Indians over a 
period of months. The proper spelling was not known by any person, Indian or white, and as recorded 
here, was adopted after many conferences with the more elderly Indians in company with Andrew Paull 
(Qoitchetahl), secretary of the Squamish Indian Council of Chiefs. Professor Chas. Hill-Tout and Rev. 
CM. Tate also lent their aid. Acknowledgements are also made to F.J.C. Ball, Esq., Indian Agent, 
Vancouver; August Kitsilano, Chief Matthias Capilano, Haxten, Yahmas, Queyahchulk, Ayatak and 

In commenting upon the effort, Chief Matthias Joe Capilano said, "That was a part of our history which 
had been lost; we have it now." A resolution of thanks to Major Matthews was passed by the Squamish 
Indian Council. 

The preservation of these Indian names is largely due to a suggestion that the archivist be requested to 
furnish a list of pioneers of very early days to be guests of the city at the opening of the Burrard Bridge. 
The archivist included the name of August Jack — otherwise August Kitsilano — born under the bridge 
about 1878, and in conversations with this Indian, a man of splendid character and commanding stature 
but not of chiefs rank, was told one or two of the old Indian names, and this led to the completion of the 
list at the end of nine months endeavour. 

J.S. Matthews 
Kitsilano Beach 
17 March 1933 

Location and spelling, Indian villages and landmarks, Burrard Inlet and English 
Bay, before the whiteman came. 

As adopted by the Chiefs of the Squamish Indian Council. 


Meeting of the Squamish Indian Council held at office of Indian Agent, 206-6 Rogers Bldg., Vancouver, 
B.C. on Friday, January 1 3, 1 933, Present F.J.C. Ball, President of the Council, Secretary, Andrew Paull, 
Councillors Matthias Joe, George William, Gus Band, Moses Joseph, Jimmie Jimmie, Henry Jack. 

Absentees: Edward Joseph, Denny Paull, Frank Baker. 


Moved by Councillor Gus Band 

Seconded by Councillor Matthias Joe 

That the manuscript submitted by Major J.S. Matthews, archivist, giving the Indian names of certain 
places around the City of Vancouver, be approved by the Squamish Indian Council on behalf of the 
Squamish Tribe and that the spelling of the names be considered satisfactory as it is impossible to 
express them in English, especially in view of the fact that even among the Indians themselves, there is a 
variation in the pronunciation of some of the names. 


I hereby certify that I was present and presided at a meeting of the Squamish Indian Council at which the 
foregoing resolution was unanimously passed and carried. 

Frederick J.C. Ball 
Indian Agent 

Chiefs and reserves. 

Chief Matthias Joe, Capilano. Chief George Williams, Kowtain. Chief Gus Band, Cheakamus. Chief 
Moses Joseph, North Vancouver. Chief Jimmie Jimmie, Skowishun. Chief Henry Jack, Skaimain. Chief 
Edward Joseph, Poquiosin, Chief Denny Paull, Seymour Creek. Chief Frank Baker, Cheakamus. (Three 
vacant chiefships also exist.) 

Nomenclature, Indian villages and landmarks, Burrard Inlet and English Bay, 
Before the whitemans Came to Ulksen. 

As adopted by the Chiefs of the Squamish Indian Council, 1 3 January 1 933. 

Musqueam existing village 

Mahly existing village 

Che-ahtun a boulder, legendary 

Ky-ooham a boulder, legendary 

Homulsom a boulder, legendary 

Huphapailth "place of cedar trees" 

Kullakan a boulder, legendary 

Chitchulayuk a boulder, legendary 

Tsa-atslum "a cool place" 

Pookcha "floating sandbar" 

Kokohpai "crabtree," a bay 

Eyalmu "good camping ground" 

E-eyalmu "another good camping ground" 

Sim sah muls "tool sharpening stone" 

Skwayoos Kitsilano Beach 

Snauq a former village 

Aunmaytsut "commit suicide" 

Kiwahusks "two points opposite" 

Skwachice "deep hole in water" 

Smamchuze a former cove 

Ay-ayulshun another "soft under feet" 

Staitwouk "mud for white pipe clay" 

Slahkayulsh "He is standing up" 

Chants a boulder and cave, legendary 

Sahunz a boulder, legendary 

Chaythoos "high bank" 

Ahka-chu "a little lake" 
























Skayw itsut 












Brockton Point 

"an island" 

"dry passage" 

"white rocks" 

"beautiful grove" 

"maple trees" 

a group of boulders 

"place of cedars" 

a former village or camp 

derived from "near" 

"little place of masks" 

Lynn Creek 

"snake slough" 

"a point or cape" 

"large pretty house" 

"head of bay" 

"saltwater creek" 

a former village 

a lagoon 

a point 

"tragedy," a bay 

"bad smell" 

"go around point" 

"stone in sling" 


"rocks all cut up" 

"sizzling noise" 

"paint" for face 

"knoll" or "nose" 

"sheltered waters" 


Terra Nova Cannery 



(Andrew Paull) 



13 January 1933 
Frederick J.C. Ball 
Indian Agent 

Chiefs AppoVe 
Spelling Given 
Ancient Names 

Council Thanks Major 

Matthews for Com* 


SQUAMISH Indian Council, com- 
prising >the ten chiefs of . the 
Squamish tribe, has given unani- 
mous approval to the spelling and 
location of sixty -five Indian names of 
villages and landmarks which existed 
on Burrard penisula before the ar- 
rival of the white man. 

The names have been compiled and 
mapped by Major J. S. Matthews, city 
archivist. A resolution of thanks was 
adopted by the chiefs at their council 
meeting in the department of Indian 
affairs office, Rogers Building. 

Chief Matthias Capilano paid the 
compiler a compliment when he re- 
marked: "It is a story of our history 
which had been, lost and is now 
largely recovered . 

Major Matthews has been six 
months in the preparation of the map 
and dictionary. He visited and inter- 
viewed many aged Indians and white 
pioneers and searched early maps and 
old manuscripts. 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_003 

/3- /?33 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_004 


1 1 December 1 932 - Revised spelling (8 December 1 932) as approved by Andrew 
qoitchetahl (andrew paull), secretary, squamish indian council. 








Chitchulayhuk (Point Grey) 


Ulksen (Point Grey district) 


















































Oakwumugh "a village" 

Slail-wit-tuth Indian River 

Kwy-yowka Steveston 

Whykitsen Terra Nova Cannery 

certified as corrected and the rest OK and respectfully submitted 

Dec. 15 now says spell it Qoichetahl 

Indian villages and landmarks. 


All of the promontory of Point Grey from its western extremity in an easterly direction for miles along the 
English Bay shore, as also the North Arm of the Fraser River. 

Hill-Tout: "Ulk-sen, meaning point, radical for 'nose' - Point Grey." 

Andrew Paull: "UI-K-son, knoll. Point Grey." 

Dick Isaacs (Que-yah-chulk): "Ulk-son, 'faraway,' 'protruding.'" 

Frank Charlie (Ay-at-ak), Musqueam: "All Point Grey west of Marpole and False Creek; all belong to 
Musqueam Indian. All Ulksen belong to Musqueam, not Squamish. Squamish live away over mountains" 
(West Vancouver). "Musqueam go False Creek sandbars to fish long before Squamish move down 
Burrard Inlet and English Bay. Squamish just come down to camp summer time, come down Squamish to 
work in Hastings Mill. 'Old Chief Capilano home at Mahly; he have another home at Homulcheson. Mahly 
belong Musqueam, not Squamish. Capilano River Musqueam, not Squamish" (territory). "Squamish and 
Musqueam always good friends; also Sechelt; only those crazy fellows from north want to fight; they fight 
about anything or nothing." 6 November 1932 at Musqueam. 

Tim Moody (Yahmas), North Vancouver: "Ulk-son." Spreading his hands over entire map from Point Grey 
to Kitsilano Beach, over land and water and shoreline, he said, "Ulkson all same Vancouver. Old Indian 
up Squamish, I say I go Skaywitsut, I go Point Atkinson. I say I go Ulkson, I go anyplace," and swept his 
wrinkled hand over the Point Grey-Kitsilano shoreline. "Sen" means cape or promontory. "Ulkson any 
place Musqueam to Snauq." [NOTE ADDED LATER: Yahmas, last Flathead Indian, died about 22 
December 1936.] 

Rev. CM. Tate, Indian Missionary: "It should be Sulksen, but frequently they leave the 's' off." 


August Jack (Haatsa-lano): "The old people used to talk a great deal about the coming of the whiteman; I 
was young, and did not pay attention, but one thing I am sure they said that there were whitemen up at 
Squamish before Mr. Vancouver came to English Bay. The Squamish Indians did not understand the 
language of the Sechelts, but could make themselves understood. The Indians at Powell River had still 
another language to the Sechelts." 


The site of this ancient village on the Musqueam Indian Reserve which adjoins the west side of the Point 
Grey Golf Club property, D.L. 314, is given by Frank Charlie (Ayatak), a very old Indian who says, "My 
grandfather tell me he see first white man come down Fraser; just one man," as: a slightly elevated piece 
of river shore on the east side of a small sluggish creek which enters the Fraser River almost directly 
south of Camosun street produced. It is the only Indian place name within the boundaries of the present 
city of Greater Vancouver which has survived the advent of the white man. It is first mentioned spelt 
"Misquiame" by Simon Fraser in his Journal of his exploratory expedition to the Pacific Coast, August 
1808. It is a "River" Indian village. 

Ayatak, or Frank Charlie, or Frank Capilano, of Musqueam, an aged Indian who can neither read nor 
write, who says he is "about 80," told me, 9 November 1932, that his grandfather was "Old Chief 
Capilano, and that his grandfather had told him that when he was "a big boy he saw the first white man 
come down Fraser River. Him just so high, 'bout five feet, just one man come, come from east, my 
grandfather tell me, Old Capilano live be about one hundred, then die. His first home at Mahly; then he go 
Capilano River. Chief Lah-wa" (who succeeded Capilano as chief) "my uncle. Musqueam here." "Here" 
being about 200-300 yards east of the present double towered Indian Church, and say, 100 yards east of 

Rev. CM. Tate: "Leave the spelling as it is, you cannot change it now, but I should have spelt it 

Andrew Paull, Secretary, Squamish Indian Council of Chiefs: "Don't know literal meaning, if it has any." 


Hill-Tout: "Mah-lee." 

Paull: "Mahly." 

Dick Isaacs: "Mah-lee." 

Frank Charlie: "Mah-lee." 

Tate: "Mahly." 

Paull: "If it has any literal meaning, I don't know it." 

The little creek which runs west of Musqueam runs east of Mahly and separates them. Frank Charlie 
says, "Mahlee about middle Musqueam Indian Reserve, Chinaman's garden there now, oil from motor car 
make no good now, water dirty. Mahly belong Musqueam Indian, not Squamish. Mahly was 'Old Chief 
Capilano home one time. Old Capilano my grandfather; he Squamish Indian, he marry Musqueam 
woman, afterwards go Capilano to live. Chief Lah-wa his son. All English Bay and Burrard Inlet belong 
Musqueam. Squamish live way over mountains; just come English Bay to camp, get food. They come 
down Squamish work Hastings Mill. Capilano River Musqueam land. Squamish man marry Musqueam 
girl, by and by give him place down Mahly; way down by beach, not up river by Musqueam. My name 


Frank Charlie: "Big rock, little way east of Homulsom. God send him same time send Homulsom; turn into 
stone. I never see Cheatun, him on beach somewhere long there, my mother tell me." 



Frank Charlie (Ayatak): "A stone on beach west of Che-ah-tun; it is a dog; God send him same time as 
others, all same dog's howl." Ayatak opened mouth and howled "ky-ooh-am." "I never see him; my father 
tell me." 

Mrs. Frank Charlie nodded approval; she is a grandmother. 


A large dome shaped rock on the North Arm shoreline of Point Grey. Hill-Tout: Humul-som. August 
Kitsilano: Humulsome. Paull: Homme-mul-sum. Tate: "I think Paull is nearest correct in sound." Hom-ul- 
son, says Tim Moody (Yahmas) and adds, "Two miles west of Mahly, big rock standing in water, at high 
tide in water, at low tide dry, about Point-No-Point." Dick Isaacs (Queyahchulk): "East of Kullakan, means 
'nice place and good things.'" "Hum-la-som," says Frank Charlie, who has lived all his life close by at 
Musqueam, and adds, "Big rock there on beach, God make him before he make Indian, little round rock 
just by; little rock is bowl or basin in which Hum-la-som wash face. Indian wash face with hands, so. God 
send eight men there to start Indian peoples, then turn them into big rock Hum-la-som, high dome shape, 
'bout five feet high." 


Hill-Tout: "Kulla-khan." 

Paull: "Khul-khan, refers to a fence, or something which looked like a fence or served as one." 

Rev. CM. Tate: "Sounds like 'a fence' to me," from Indian word kul-ha-haan, a fence. 

Dick Isaacs: "Big stone in water on beach at Point Grey, nice beach at low water." 

Frank Charlie, Musqueam: "Big stones, creek there." 

The location is on the south shore of Point Grey east of Chit-chul-ay-uk (Point Grey). 

Rev. CM. Tate: "In time of war they might have put up a barricade on the beach to obstruct the northern 
raiders; in England we would call it 'defence.'" 

Andrew Paull: "There is a legend that the big rocks at Kullakan were playing ball when petrified." 

Dick Isaacs: "Name is derived from Indian word for fence; something there must have had the 
appearance of a fence." 


Hill Tout: "Whap-wha-pailthp, 'place of cedars,' Point Grey." 

Paull: "Khup-khup-way-ilth. 'Little place of cedars.' An area of land of undefined boundaries on the south 
shore of Point Grey approximately between Homulsom and Kullakan where the growth of cedars is 
prolific. In addition to being a most useful timber for canoes and house building, the Indian people also 
made undergarments from cedar, and the soft downy lining of infants' cradles." 

Frank Charlie, Musqueam: "Not know Huphapailth, know Hupha, lots cedars, lots cedar trees all along 
high bank, high up, low down, no particular place." 

August Kitsilano: "Used to be an old log chute down the cliff there." 

See also Hup-hah-pai, or Cedar Cove, on Burrard Inlet. 

Rev. CM. Tate: "'lip' signifies 'a tree,' any kind of tree. 'Uckhpai' means 'the cedars.'" (Hill-Tout: "Hapai.") 


August Jack Kitsilano: "Big rock there once a man. He hear that great man was coming. Indian start to 
prepare to strike great man. He get ready to make big wind blow great man away. While he was working 
to make the big wind the great man comes. When the great man comes he says, 'What are you working 
at?' Indian says, 'Great Man coming, I blow him away, making great big wind to blow great man away.' 
Didn't know he was talking to the great man himself. The great man told the Indian he would have to stay 


there forever, so that to the last generation it should be known that he had tried to strike a great man. 
Then he turned him into stone and he been there ever since." 

"It is the biggest rock on the Point Grey shore." 

The true significance of all these Indian legends is a somewhat crude system of morality veiled in 
allegory. The actual purpose of the legend is to teach the folly of jealousy. 

Rev. CM. Tate: "The first two syllables should be 'Tzit-zil'; the latter part 'uk' means 'head' of something, 
probably the headline of Point Grey; similarly, 'Chilliwayuk' (Chilliwack) means 'through to the head.'" 

Paull: "Chit-chul-ay-uk. At big rock." 

Tim Moody: "Chit-chil-ey-uk. Right at point of Point Grey, extreme point of Point Grey, wind all time, one 
man standing in water just like Siwash Rock." 

Frank Charlie, Musqueam: "Chit-chil-ay-ok. Big rock, right in water, perhaps six feet high, five feet wide, 
just below wireless station masts." 


Paull, 1 January 1 933: "Pookcha derives its name from a low hummock or lump on the sand flats at the 
northwestern extremity of Spanish Banks, which rises out of the water soon after the tide commences to 
ebb. Its literal meaning is 'a back (as of a whale) floating up above the surface,' which, as the water 
recedes, Pookcha presents the appearance of. Or Pouk-cha." 

Dick Isaacs: "Pook-cha. Place west of Jericho, where it gets dry when the tide goes out; Spanish Banks." 

Tim Moody: "Pook-cha. Where Spanish Banks goes away out, i.e. western and widest part of Spanish 

Tate: "Pook-cha." 

August Kitsilano: "Pook-cha. Great bar of sand at Spanish Banks." 


Paull: "Tsa-atslum, or Tsa-tsa-thumb. A point on the Spanish Banks shoreline almost due north of the 
main University buildings, near a ravine crossed by a bridge, approximately directly below the cable hut, 
where a cool water spring comes out of the ground. 'Cold place,' sand caving in bank there." 

Frank Charlie, Musqueam: "'Cool place,' hot day cool breezes comes." 

Tim Moody: "Little hole in cliff on Spanish Banks shore, the place where ravine is; where cable station is. 
Call it 'Tsaats-lum.'" 

Hill-Tout: "Tlay-at-lum." 

August Kitsilano: "Sats-summ." 

Tate: "Don't know word or place." 

The B.C. Telephone Company abandoned their cable hut on the beach approximately 1920-1925, and 
built a little stucco hut on Marine Drive above. Previously the poles ran down the cliff to the hut on the 
shore. They did not move the location of cables under sea. Just buried the cable, as far as Marine Drive, 
up the cliff. 


Ko - koh (long) - pai, as in pie, or by. Part of Locarno Beach. 

"Ko-koh-pie," says Tim Moody, "at Spanish Banks. Long ago Indian go there catch smelts, no creek, little 
spring of water come out of cliff. Means crab apples; crab apple trees used to grow there." 

"Ko-koh-pates," says August Kitsilano, "nice little bay, lots of sand, near boundary of University land. A 
little creek comes down the hill and empties onto Spanish Banks near boundary of U.B.C." 


Jim Franks: "Where the street car comes down the hill." (Sasamat Street.) 


(See E-eyalmu.) A former park-like Indian camping ground, west of E-eyalmo, approximately the western 
end of Jericho Beach, and at the foot of Imperial Street. 

August Kitsilano: "Yalmoo, where the air station is." 

Tate: "I like Yalmo, or Eyalmo, better than Eyalmu." 


A splendid Indian camping ground at the eastern end of Jericho Beach, almost exactly where the Jericho 
Country Club house stands, but to the west of it. 

Paull: "Aee-al-mough, 'good camping ground.'" 

Hill-Tout: "EE-al-mough is Jericho." 

Dick Isaacs: A-yal-mouch. "Jericho." 

Jim Franks (Chil-lah-minst): "Little cove at Jericho. Ay-yal-mough." 

Tate: "I like E-eyalmo best." 

August Kitsilano: "Aye-yal-mough, or Ayalmoo." 

Frank Charlie and his wife: "Say Ee-yal, not Ay-yal." 

This cove is shown on the survey by Corp. Geo. Turner of the Admiralty Reserve, February and March 
1 863. Survey posts of brass with imprint of crown on top were found at corners of this reserve early in the 
20 th century. Turner's original field notes are in the Court House, Vancouver. He marked across them, 
"berry bushes." 

Early Admiralty charts show "logging camp" with logging roads leading therefrom on east side of cove; 
"Indian village" on west side. 

August Kitsilano: "My stepfather was Jericho Charlie; he used to work for Jerry Rogers out at Jericho" 
(Jerry's Cove). "Jericho Charlie had a big canoe, and would carry a ton or more, and I remember how he 
used to go out from Hastings Mill to Jericho with the canoe loaded with hay and oats for the horses and 
oxen working at Jerry Rogers's logging camp at Jericho." 


Accent on "sah." 

Tim Moody: "Sim-sah-muls." 

Dick Isaacs: "Sim-sah-muls; by old English Bay Cannery." 

August Kitsilano: "It means 'tool sharpening rock'; it means the beach or place on the Kitsilano shoreline 
where formerly a creek emptied into English Bay just west of the foot of Bayswater Street, close to the old 
English Bay Cannery." (See Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931.) 

"Along the beach from about the foot of Balsam Street to the foot of Trutch, one layer of sandstone 
overlies, and another layer underlies, a layer of soft shale. This sandstone," says Professor S.J. 
Schofield, a professor of Geology at the University of British Columbia, "is peculiar, in that its grains are 
angular, showing that it has not moved much; most sandstone grains are globular." 

On being shown an oblong piece 2" x 1 " x 5" of sandstone found eight feet beneath the surface in the 
great Fraser Midden, Marpole, one side smooth from abrasive use, probably, centuries and centuries 
ago, "Yes, that's it, that's the kind, would be very suitable for sharpening Indian implements of bone or 


A large clam shell midden formerly existed "a few feet, say 100-200 feet," west of Bayswater Street, north 
of Point Grey Road. Formerly there was a little beach there, and the cliff diminished in height to almost 
nothing at all as it reached it. (See Mrs. J.H. Calland in Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931.) 


Chillahminst, 2 March 1933: "Oh, I remember, make canoe on hill above Skwayoos. Loggers just take out 
fir, leave cedar, my father make canoe up hill, I go see him, meet oxen come down logging trail, I little 
boy, frightened, run away from oxen fast. My father have iron chisel made out Hudson's Bay file, stone 
hammer; make canoe up hill, then bring canoe down, go Point Grey, hook sturgeon; great big sturgeon, 
twelve feet, that thick," (about four inches) "very heavy, tow him to beach, turn canoe over, take stakes" 
(cross pieces) "out, slide sturgeon in canoe; turn canoe over again. 

"My father tell me he see first ship up Squamish. Logging road, Skwa-yoos, oh, two log road come up 
Skwayoos, one come one way, 'nother other way, little swamp up top hill, logging road go 'round swamp." 

Hill-Tout: "Sk-wai-us." 

August Kitsilano: "Skwy-use." 

Tim Moody: "Skwy-yoos." 

Paull: "Skwa-yoos, no particular meaning; just a name." 

Rev. CM. Tate: "'Yoos' ending is more like it. 'Yoos' is flesh, a short way the modern Indian says Slave is 
Squeus, that is 'flesh of a slave,' or 'slave.'" 

"Skwy-us," says Jim Franks, "I was born there." 

Prior to 1 880, an Indian hut stood on the Kitsilano Beach at the foot of Yew Street. It was owned by 
Charlie, and presumably was the only hut. August Kitsilano, who says his stepfather was "Jericho 
Charlie," says that Sam Greer bought it, and there was afterwards a lawsuit over the payment for it, which 
Charlie won. (See The Fight for Kitsilano Beach, Matthews.) 

Jim Franks, Indian name Chil-lah-minst, 20 November 1932: "I was born at Skwa-yoos, right here, down 
by the corner there, foot Yew Street, behind bathhouse, where the beach turns" (west). "My father was 
Chil-lah-minst, come down Squamish with people to get smelts, about this time, fall, lots smelts here 
Skwa-yoos. My father have little hut down there at corner. Squamish peoples come down here to English 
Bay to get food, go back Squamish for winter. My father Chil-lah-minst too, make canoe all life, chisel, 
chisel, chisel, big stone for hammer; make canoe down Skwa-yoos." 

Note: assuming that Jim Franks, Indian of North Vancouver Reserve was, as he says, about 16 years old 
when, on the day of the Great Fire in Vancouver, 13 June 1886, he was working in the Hastings Sawmill, 
then he must have been born on Kitsilano Beach about 1 870. He claims to be older than 62 or 64, but 
does not look it. He says he remembers August Jack (August Kitsilano) as "a little boy"; August Jack is his 
nephew, August's mother being Jim's sister. August is 54 or 55. 

Robert Preston was interested in preempting land at Kitsilano in October 1871 , but did not complete it; 
Samuel Preston his brother preempted it in April 1873, but never received [the] deed. Mrs. J.Z. Hall, 
daughter of Sam Greer, told me she had been told there were several "houses" located on the site of her 
father's pioneer home. Sam Greer bought the "improvements" of the Indians from them in November 
1 884. Sam Greer's home was burned down by the Canadian Pacific Railway after and during the 
celebrated lawsuit. Presumably, the "several houses" were Indian huts. (See The Fight for Kitsilano 

Mrs. J.Z. Hall narrates that her father shot a wolf one night in their garden, and speaks of the myriads of 
smelt. William Hunt also mentions how prolific they were. The writer recalls, even in 1918, raking them 
ashore with a garden rake; they seem all gone now. (See Early Vancouver, 1931 .) 

Jas. A. Smith, moving picture censor, shot ducks in the lagoon at the back of the beach in 1888. The last 
muskrats caught in the swamp about Creelman Avenue were caught by the Matthews boys in 1 91 3 just 
before the sand from False Creek was pumped in to fill, at Maple Street and carline, to a depth of thirteen 


feet. Coon were in to Indian Reserve at this time. William Hunt speaks of an old "elk yard" near Whyte 
and Arbutus streets. 


An Indian village formerly standing on the Kitsilano Indian Reserve. The principal part stood directly 
beneath the Burrard Street Bridge. It had a large community house, several individual houses, an 
orchard, and a graveyard near the foot of Fir Street. There were also one or more houses a few yards 
east of Ogden Street on the reserve, and some fruit trees. Jemmet's survey (in possession of Andrew 
Paull) of Indian reserves, 1880, shows a trail from village to Skwa-yoos passing east and west about 
McNicholl Avenue. 

Hill-Tout: "Snauq." 

Paull: "Sna-auk." 

Tate: "On Vancouver Island, 'pipe clay' is called Stauq; it would be easy for the Squamish to change it to 
Snauq; I don't know what it means." 

August Kitsilano: "I was born at Snauq; see Vancouver burn from there when I was a little boy. When 
grandfather Haatsa-la-nough from Squamish River go to Chaythoos in Stanley Park his brother Chip- 
kaay-am go to Snauq; he first man settled there. Indians used to catch fish in big traps where Granville 
Island is now. The big bar was twenty or more acres in extent, dry at low tide, and the Indians had from 
time very long ago had fish corral there built of two converging fences in the water, made of brush 
fastened to hurdles, sharp stakes driven in mud to guide the flounders and smelts to the narrow part 
where they were trapped. The brush fence was built of vine maple; the small fine nets were made from 
the fibres of the stinging nettle. 

"After my father died, my father Hay-tulk, we move from Snauq. I got no schooling, cannot read or write, 
had to look after my mother, a widow, sometimes I go to Gastown to search in ruins for nails. When we 
went to Gastown we went by canoe to Royal City Planing Mills at south end of Carrall Street, and cross to 
Burrard Inlet on rough sort of trail. I don't remember a trail from Smam-chuze" (foot of Howe Street), "what 
would be the use of struggling through the bush when it was so easy to paddle." (Note: generally 
speaking, no Indian would walk if he could paddle.) "Musqueams used to come to Snauq long ago, before 
Chip-kaay-am come, but they never settle there. Chip-kaay-am, old Chief George, first settle at Snauq. 
My mother afterwards marry Jericho Charlie." 

The Indians moved away from Snauq in 1911, and the remains of those buried in the graveyard close to 
the boundary of the reserve, opposite about 1600 block First Avenue, were exhumed and taken to 
Squamish. The orchards went to ruin, the fences fell down, and the houses destroyed; a few hops 
continued to grow until 1930 when they were destroyed by the building of the new Burrard Bridge opening 
1 July 1932. 

Mrs. H.A. Benbow (see Fight for Kitsilano Beach) says she witnessed the last Indian burial, supposed to 
have been in July 1907. The Rat Portage Sawmill closed down for the services. 

Rev. CM. Tate: "The population about 1880 was about fifty. There is no 'K' in Haatsa-lah-nough. 
'Lanough' or 'lanoch' means 'the place of or 'the property of; let's see, the whole word would mean 'the 
place of the lakes.' 'Haatsa' is lake or swamp. The proper way to spell it is Haats-sah-lan-ough; the 
terminal is pronounced as in English 'cough.' 

Hill-Tout: "The suffix 'lanough' means 'man'; i.e. Ka-lanough, the first man." 

Frank Charlie (Ayatak) of Musqueam: "The fishing on the bar" (Granville Island) "was done with hurdle 
nets made of twisted vine maple and sharp stakes so made as to form a hurdle, and the stakes driven in 
the mud so as to form a corral with the widest opening at the western end, gradually tapering down to 
narrowness in the eastern. The hurdles ran for hundreds of feet in the water. The fish came in with the 
tide, entered the wide mouth of the corral, and were caught when the tide receded." 


Mrs. J.Z. Hall, nee Greer, of Greer's Beach (see Early Vancouver, 1931) speaks of the "noises and howls" 
of the Indians at their ceremonies and potlatches which she heard as she walked home from Gastown to 
Greer's Beach over the C.P.R. trestle bridge. 

J.S. Matthews: In 1902 or 1903, I used to cross from the old cannery about the foot of Burrard Street — 
Burrard Street was just a stream rutted trail down to the shore — by Indian canoe to the Indian Reserve, 
and my children would play with the Indian children, usually on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. 

Mrs. (Captain) Percy Nye: "In 1 891 False Creek was so quiet on a Sunday that we could hear the Indians 
singing at their services on the reserve as far as our place at English Bay; we used to sit on the shore and 

Note: residents of Vancouver who arrived as recently as the first decade of the 20 th century, but 
particularly those about 1900-1902, can recall the enormous number of waterfowl and fish available for 
food on False Creek. Ducks rose in clouds as recently as 1900 from False Creek, and in that year, 1900, 
the big salmon year, hundreds of thousands of salmon were caught on the Fraser River, could not be 
canned, drifted ashore on the beaches of English Bay, and absolutely prevented bathing for a few days. 
In the early years of the 20 th century, salmon still swam up the creek as far as Cedar and Third Avenue, 
were in the swamp around Laburnum Street, and smelts could be raked up Kitsilano Beach with a stick. 
William Hunt gives an interesting account of catching them with his hand, half a dozen at a time. (See 
Early Vancouver, 1 931 .) 

Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks), conversation, 10 December 1932, in my kitchen over a cup of tea: 

"My father's name Chil-lah-minst, my grandfather Chil-lah-minst, too. My father make canoe all his life, he 
make canoe several places; one place down Skwa-yoos, foot Yew Street, Kitsilano Beach. Make canoe 
all his life, just canoe, his trade; when he get old I be Chil-lah-minst, I do work, take my father's name, just 
same you do. One time logger take out fir tree, leave cedar, cedar not much good for logger, but logging 
road make easy get cedar tree out to Skwa-yoos beach for make canoe. My father all time chisel, chisel, 
chisel, big round stone in hand for hammer, make canoe, then burn him out with pitch. I Jim first, when I 
get married North Vancouver priest give me name Franks. 

"Chief Chip-kaay-am of Snauq very good man, very kind, very good; that's why him family make him 
chief." Note: see Rev. CM. Tate, who speaks so highly of "Old Chief George." 

Query: Do you know who the Indians Swillamcan, Kanachuck, Mrs. Salpcan, who sold their 
"improvements" on Kitsilano Beach were? Who were they? 

"Will-ahm-can is Chief Jimmy Jimmy's father; not sure but I think Kanachuck brother to Chief Chip-kaay- 
am; may be Mrs. Salpcan was his wife, don't know. We leave Skwa-yoos, go Hastings Sawmill to work. 
People at Snauq sell 'improvements' to Greer for I think $1 00. 

"Jericho Charlie my uncle, Frank Charlie (Ayatak) of Musqueam my cousin. Jericho Charlie die long time 
ago, fell off C.P.R. trestle bridge across False Creek; he live Jericho, just by slough, on bar in front of 
Jerry Roger's logging camp there. Jericho Charlie may have had a place at Skwa-yoos, I don't know." 
(August Kitsilano says, "Yes, he did.") "Frank Charlie (Ayatak) live Musqueam now." 


For the name Kitsilano, see elsewhere, and the "Legend of Haatsa-lah-nough." 


The exact location not quite identified, but either the foot of Ash Street, or the foot of Cambie Street 
South, or both, on False Creek. Two moderately large creeks came out at each of these points, the 
largest at the foot of Ash. There was a third still farther east, just east of Cambie. 

The manager's house, manager of the Leamy and Kyle Sawmill, the first Mill on False Creek, was built at 
the foot of Ash Street on a little clearing on the eastern bank, and by its appearance in 1900 when the 
writer first saw it, it had long been occupied; perhaps it was chosen by the manager on account of its 
having been an old Indian settlement. 


On the day of the Great Fire, 1 886, the men clearing the C.P.R. roundhouse site were driven by the fire 
into the waters of False Creek, and were rescued by Indians in canoes from the direction of Aun-mayt- 
sut; they were in camp on the shore opposite the fire, about Cambie or Ash Street. 

Paull says, "The word means 'commit suicide,' probably someone killed himself there." 

Tate says, "'Kysit,' to kill oneself." Paull corrects this to 'Qoitsut' or 'Qoi-it-sut,' meaning 'commit suicide,' 
and adds Mr. Tate's pronunciation may be affected by long association with the Fraser Valley and 
Vancouver Island Indians. 


Main Street or formerly Westminster Avenue. 

Paull: "Place of narrow passage; literally, 'two points exactly opposite.' 'Usks' as in 'tusks.'" 

August Kitsilano: "He-whaasks." 

Tim Moody: "He-wha-usks." 

At least as early as 1 880, a bridge, the False Creek bridge, crossed at this narrow point; to the east was 
the great shallow mud flat extending as far as Grandview; now almost entirely railroad yards. The lagoon 
was dry at low tide save for the water channels carrying away fresh water from streams. 

Two protruding points of land jutted out into False Creek. The southern one was on an angle north- 
northeast, and the highest ground ran in that direction; hence the forest trail from Gastown to Fraser 
River, via False Creek bridge and North Arm (Fraser Avenue) Road ran on the summit of that ridge, and 
is accountable for the odd twist in Main Street at that point; another instance of the tradition that a calf 
gamboled away from its mother, the cow followed, a man followed the cow, and finally they made a paved 
street of it, and placed traffic signals to control the congestion. 


The whole of the head of False Creek east of Main Street, at one time a great mudflat, much like a great 
circular pool in the forest clad hills surrounding, now filled in. 

"Skwa-chice, no more Skwa-chice," says Dick Isaacs, "they fill him up now, make C.N.R. Yards, big hole 
one time, where we used to get the sturgeon all the time. Great big deep hole, very big, up head False 
Creek, tunnel under creek, fresh water come up, come from Lake Coquitlam." (Probably meant Lake 
Burnaby, but clearly said Coquitlam.) "The way they know, Indians find salt water seaweed up Lake 
Coquitlam; that's the way they tell, seaweed gets up there through tunnel under Skwa-chice." 

Geologists assert that False Creek is the prehistoric bed of the Fraser River, and that seepage through 
gravel from Burnaby Lake to Skwachice is quite possible. 

Hill-Tout: "Swat-chais, 'deep hole in water.'" 

August Kitsilano: "Squaw-chize." 

Tim Moody: "Skwachice." 

Paull: "Skwa-chice, 'water spring, or water coming up from ground beneath.'" 

Mrs. Sanderson, Indian, North Vancouver: "Water coming out of the ground from beneath, rising up from 
the bottom don't know why it does." 

Smam-chuze (Smam-Kuush). 

August Kitsilano, who as a boy lived at Snauq, directly opposite, was the only Indian who knew the name 
of this former cove, and also the only one who knew the name of Smam-chuze. (August Haatsalano 
pronounces "Smam (short) kuush.") He says, "A little cove, formed by a sandbar, winds into a cove which 
afterwards was crossed by the C.P.R. Trestle bridge, and was at the foot of Howe Street produced. It 
implies a little island with a bit of grass on top, some graves or a little graveyard, and then the action of 
the tide washes grass, graves and island away." 


Jim Franks: "I think one time little island there, may be two or three crab trees on top where always dry. 
Indians put dead man there so wolf not get him. Indians always put dead man in trees so wolf not get 

Paull: "Don't know literal meaning. The Indian system of burial progressively changed. Tree burials may, 
at one time, say one hundred years ago, have been the only system, and on an island whenever they 
could get one, but in 1 907, '08 or '09 I saw, for instance, bodies laid on bare rock on the tops of those two 
little islands just west of Point Atkinson, bare solid rocks. The bodies were simply covered with split cedar 
slabs, about three inches thick, eight inches wide and five feet long or so, held in place by their own 
weight, and no other covering to the remains. Defence Island, near Squamish, an island of half an acre, 
was a favourite burial ground. 

Mr. Dickie, of Dickie and DeBeck, Barristers, 30 January 1933: "When I was a bit of a boy I used to play 
there; we used to call it 'the island.' There was a little low island just a few steps east of the Kitsilano 
railway bridge. I am fifty now, so that must have been over thirty-five years ago." 

About 1910, earlier perhaps, but no later than 1 91 1 , a small sealing schooner owned by a Mr. Chapman 
was warped into this cove beside the bridge. Its owner, a recluse artist, has lived in it alone ever since 
(now 1933). The C.P.R. has unsuccessfully endeavoured to make him remove himself, but he claims he 
sailed in there, tied up, and is still at anchor in the waters of False Creek, at the time he went in under 
Dominion control. Actually, he is high on dry land which has been filled in around his vessel, the Siren. 


Paull: "Little English Bay, literally, 'another soft under foot' place, a small sandy beach which was formerly 
running along from about Broughton and Nicola streets." 


English Bay bathing beach. 

Hill-Tout: "Hail-shan, English Bay bathing beach, 'soft under feet.'" 

"Ay-ul-shun," says Paull, "English Bay, 'good under feet.'" 

August Kitsilano: "l-ail-sun, English Bay bathing beach." 

"Ay-yul-shun," says Dick Isaacs. 

Jim Franks: "Ale-shun." 

Tate: "'Ay' is good, 'shun' means 'feet'; spell it Ayulshun." 

The English Bay bathing beach was formerly very much less extensive than in 1932. It consisted, in early 
days, of a short stretch of sand, perhaps one hundred yards long, extending east from a small creek at 
the foot of Gilford Street. At both ends were clusters of boulders of considerable number, but of moderate 
size, but there were two huge ones under the cliff at the foot of Denman Street. (See The First Settlers on 
Burrard's inlet, Matthews, and Mrs. Capt. Percy Nye, Early Vancouver, 1932.) 


Second Beach, Stanley Park, where a small creek enters the sea. Hill Tout: Stay-took. August Kitsilano: 
Staa-wauk. Jim Franks: State-wok. Dick Isaacs: State-woohk. 

Paull says, "'Stait-wouk' is a mud substance which, interpreted, would be probably equivalent to what you 
call pipe clay. It was the place, the only place, where Indians could get that particular kind of mud, right at 
the little creek at Second Beach. They gathered the mud — I think from the bed of the creek — rolled it into 
loaves about the size of bread loaves, put the roll against the fire, and the mud would get as white as 
chalk. This white powder was used to dust upon Indian Blankets made from the mountain goat's fur, to 
give the blanket a white appearance. The mud substance is called 'Stait-wouk.' 

"I can quite understand that Captain Vancouver in his journal reports Stanley Park as an island blocking 
the channel, for in the earlier days I can recall the waters of English Bay almost flowed — at extreme high 
tide probably did do so — across from Second Beach to Coal Harbour." 


Sunz, Prospect Point, Skaaish, Siwash Rock, Chit-chulayuk. 

note added later: 

Conversation, August Jack Khahtsahlano, 12 September 1940: "Sunz is hot Siwash Rock's 
second wife; he didn't have two wives; Siwash Rock's wife is right beside him about eighty feet 
away. Sunz is that little rock inside Prospect Point with tree on top." (See photo.) "Sunz was 
punished, too, like Siwash Rock, and Chit-chul-ay-yuk at Point Grey. She was washing her hair; 
she had evil in her heart, too, and got turned into stone for punishment." See Early Vancouver, 
volumes 2, 3 and 4. 


Siwash Rock. Accent on "kay." 

Hill-Tout: "Skalsh. Siwash Rock, means 'standing up.'" 

Paull: "Slah-kha-ulsh or Skay-ulsh. It means 'he is standing up.' He was an Indian before he was petrified 
into stone." 

Dick Isaacs: "Skay-ulsh, 'Indian Rock.'" 

Tim Moody: "Skay-ulsh." 

Jim Franks: "Skaaish." 

Tate: "Skaaish seems best." 

Paull: "Better spell it Slah-kay-ulsh; they'll shorten it." 

Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks): "Siwash Rock was once a man. I think one man make the world, but Indian 
say three men. These three men, they go out the sturgeon bank, out Point Grey; they wash themselves, 
wash themselves, wash themselves, make themselves very clean, keep themselves very clean; they get 
very powerful. These three men go all around the world making it. If they find people poor they give them 
stuff, educate them, show them how to do things, so they be able help themselves, and be no more poor. 
If they find people too smart, too clever, they say, 'you go to hell, we no bother about you.' That's how 
Siwash Rock came where he is; he too smart; they turn him into a rock so people see not much good be 
too smart." (See his further interesting remarks under his own narrative.) 

In the "Romance of Vancouver," a review published by Post No. 2, Native Sons of B.C., 1926, Chief 
Matthias Capilano refers to Siwash Rock as "T'elch," and relates a legend of similar character but 
different detail. He stated the supernatural men turned the Indian into stone because he was the first man 
he had met in their travels who did not want anything, was not greedy. 

Most writers in dealing with Indian legends appear to give these legends a covering of mythological 
romance. From many conversations with Indians I have concluded that this is the wrong interpretation. 
The Indian was highly moral in his ambitions; he knew right from wrong, was proud of his blood and 
prowess, conceived it as his duty to educate his children. They are not legends, as we understand 
legends, but are tales to illustrate and illuminate morality; the rocks are the symbols just as a square and 
compass is a symbol to a freemason. 


Paull: "Chants is not only a big sandstone rock covered with water at high tide on the beach, symbolically 
Siwash Rock's fishing line rolled into a ball, but is also a big hole in the cliff nearby — visible as you come 
in by Victoria boat — where he kept this fishing tackle and did his cooking. It is a round rock prominent on 
the shore between Siwash Rock and Prospect Point, traditionally representing a ball of thick fishing line — 
such as used by Indians before they got whitemans fishing line — belonging to the fisherman Slahkayulsh, 
and likewise turned into stone. The Indian fishing lines were thick, almost as the little finger, on account of 
the material from which they were made. The line is supposed to be rolled up, in a ball, or on a stick, 
hence its representation as a round stone. Up on the cliff is the hole where Skahkayulsh kept his fishing 


August Kitsilano: "Chantz. A sandstone sticking out on the shore perhaps 150 yards north of Siwash 
Rock, covered with water at high tide." 

Matthias Capilano: "Chance. Chance means cook fish, seal, ducks, where Slah-kay-ulsh roasts them; it is 
the hole.'" 

Tim Moody: "Schanze." 


August Jack Khatsahlahno, 12 September 1940: "Chants; Chants is a natural fish trap; when the 
tide went out it left pools, and the fish got caught." That's what Chants means; not fishing lines. 


Siwash Rock's wife, also turned into stone. 

Hill-Tout: "Suntz." 

Matthias Capilano: "Sunz." 

August Kitsilano: "Sunz, a little rock a few feet west of the lighthouse at Prospect Point. Siwash Rock's 

Dick Isaacs: "The little rock, perhaps a few feet inside" (east) "of the lighthouse." 

Tim Moody: "Sunze. A woman's name, a kneeling woman. The steps down Prospect Point from the signal 
station almost touch the Sunze rock on the shore. The rock is Siwash Rock's wife; his second wife, his 
other wife, is right behind Siwash Rock. " 

Paull: "Sahunz. Siwash Rock's wife, also petrified, a little low rock on the shore at Prospect Point." 

Haatsalano (Kitsilano) insists "Sunz," and says, "There used to be a little tree on Sunz, but somebody 
chop it down." 


Sa-unz: Andrew Paull publishes, Sun, 22 January 1938, magazine section, page 6, a story about 
the rock with tree on top, and gives a different interpretation to the legend: same general idea, 
three powerful men (Gods), Indian washing and to make themselves clean; impertinence to the 
Gods. J.S.M. 


Paull: "Chay-thoos. A small clearing on the First Narrows shore almost exactly where the Capilano pipe 
line reaches Stanley Park. Means 'high bank,' referring to Prospect Point." 

August Kitsilano: "Chay-sloos, or Chay-cluse. A little clear space at the end of the pipe line road through 
Stanley Park. Where my father Supplejack lived and died. His Indian name was Hay-tulk. Chief Haatsa- 
lah-nough went there to live once." (See August Kitsilano's long narrative re Chief Haatasa-lah-nough, or 
Kitsilano.) Much earth fill has altered the site. Hay-tulk's grave was where road starts to rise; about 20 feet 
west of present boathouse. 

Chief Matthias Capilano, 1932: "In front of Chay-thoos, just east of Sunz, east of Prospect Point 
Lighthouse lives — he is alive and still there — a great big cod fish lives, the father of All Codfish." 

Tate: "Chay-thoos is the best spelling." 


Beaver Lake, and the small stream which flows out of it. Means "little lake." 

August Kitsilano: "Ah-hach-u-wa, 'little lake' in Stanley Park." 

Tim Moody: "Ah-ha-chu, 'little creak out of Beaver Lake,' pronounced as if you were sneezing." 

Frank Charlie, Musqueam: "Hach-ha; it means 'lake.'" 


Tate: "The Indian word for lake is 'Haatsa.'" 

Paull: "Hkachu, means 'lake, a lake of some size'; 'ahkachu' is 'little lake.'" 


J.S.M., 1934: A stone arch bridge now crosses the stream (Stanley Park Driveway). 


The former site of a very large, and also a prehistoric village, now the site of the Lumberman's Arch, and 
just behind the bathing pool in Stanley Park. A great deal of information is available connected with this 
place, called by Qoitchetahl (Andrew Paull) the most historic site in all Vancouver. 

Hill-Tout: "Whoi-Whoi means 'masks.'" 

Paull: "The first ceremonial masks were made there, where the Lumberman's Arch is. Spelt Whoy-Whoy 
or Whoi-Whoi." 

Dick Isaacs: "Whoy-Whoy." 

Jim Franks: "Whoi-Whoi." 

August Kitsilano: "Hoi-hu-hoi." 

Paull: "Captain Vancouver reports that he was received with civility, and that presentations were made to 
him. I will explain to you the true meaning of this; always bearing in mind that it was the duty of the elders 
to instruct the young in history; that is how I have come to know. 

"It seems that it was a tradition among the Indians of early days that a calamity of some sort would befall 
them every seven years; once it was a flood, on another occasion disease wiped out Whoi-Whoi. The 
wise men had long prophesied a visitation from a great people. It so happened that Captain Vancouver's 
visit in 1792 coincided with the seventh year in which some calamity was expected, and regarding the 
form of which there was speculation, so that when strange men of strange white appearance, with their 
odd boats, etc. appeared, the Indians said, 'This may be the fateful visitation,' and took steps to propitiate 
the all powerful visitors. 

"On festive occasions, ceremonials, feasts and potlatches, it was the custom to decorate or ornament the 
interior of the festival or potlatch house with white down feathers, the soft eiderdown feathers from below 
the coarser outer feather of waterfowl; these were scattered or thrown about, ostensibly to placate the 
spirits, a practice not dissimilar to Christmas tree decoration with white cotton wadding snow decoration. 

"As Vancouver came through the First Narrows, the Indians in their canoes threw these feathers in great 
handfuls before him. They would of course rise in the air, drift along, and fall to the surface of the water, 
where they would rest for quite a time. It must have been a pretty scene, and duly impressed Captain 
Vancouver, for he speaks most highly of the reception he was accorded." 

Professor Hill-Tout: "Not only was there a tradition of a great flood, and of a great decimation by disease, 
but there was that of a great snowstorm of continuous unbroken duration of three months. It covered the 
whole land, and caused the death of the whole tribe save one man and his daughter. The full account is 
in my story to the Royal Society of Canada, I think, 1896; long ago, anyway." 

Note: early Admiralty charts show "Indian Sheds" at Whoi-Whoi. Corporal Turner's map of 1863 shows 
Stanley Park as "Coal Peninsula." The official map adopted by the Mayor and Council of Vancouver, 
1886, shows Stanley Park as a government reserve, but inside City boundaries. Captain Vancouver 
reports, "these good people" received him with "decorum," "civility," "cordiality," and "respect." 

Rev. CM. Tate: "I think that when the driveway around Stanley Park was cut, that the posts of the Indian 
houses were sawn off level with the ground; the stumps would be in the ground yet; I presume they would 
be cedar, and very rot resisting." 

George Cary: "Potlatches were held there after I came in 1885." 



August Jack Khahtsahlano, 12 September 1940: "No; that's all wrong, Whoi-Whoi; not where the 
first masks were made; where the first mask was found. It was found inside a big cedar tree, 
when they were cutting it down to make it into a canoe, and they found the mask inside. That was 
centuries ago." 


Hill-Tout: "Paa-pee-ak, where lighthouse stands, Brockton Point." 

Tim Moody: "Paa-pee-al, name so old no one knows what it means. All Stanley Park." 

Paull: "Tim Moody is wrong; just an Indian way of saying park." 

August Kitsilano: "Paa-pee-ak refers to Brockton Point; there is, so far as I know, no name for all Stanley 

Paull: "Old man Abraham, a very old Indian, gave evidence before the court at the time of the ejection 
proceedings that Stanley Park was known as Whoi-Whoi; I am very clear on that point." 

Chief Matthias Capilano: "Burrard Inlet was a great home for serpents. When I was a little boy, the old 
people used to see them — little serpents — just like a snake floating. A big one had his pillow — a big stone 
on the beach just west of Brockton Point Light, and his other head — they have two heads, one at each 
end — used to rest by the racing canoes just in front of the Indian church at North Vancouver; the old 
people used to see him in the tide rip. There were little ones too. The last one, not the serpent killed by 
Qoitchetahl" (Andrew Paull's ancestor) "up the Squamish River, but another one, was killed by a powerful 
man up above Dollarton, North Arm, Burrard Inlet, in front of the B.C. Electric power station, where the 
water comes down from Lake Beautiful" (Buntzen). "The paint put by the Indians on the rocks of the 
opposite shore is there yet, I think. One hundred and fifty years ago, there were lots of serpents in 
Burrard Inlet." 

Note: some authority has told me that there were five lumber camps in Stanley Park at one time or 
another. (See Mrs. Emily Eldon, W.H. Rowlings, in Early Vancouver.) 


Deadman's Island. 

Rev. CM. Tate: "Squth-ahs, it means 'an island.'" 

Paull: "Squo-tsahs or Squoot-sahs, called Deadman's Island now." 

Dick Isaacs: "Skoot-sahs." 

Tim Moody: "Scoot-sahs." 

In 1862, Corp. Turner, R.E., surveyed Burrard Inlet. His field notes in Court House, Vancouver, show an 
island without name. 

In 1880, W.S. Jemmett's map of Indian reserves, in possession of Andrew Paull, shows an island marked 
"G.R." (government reserve). 

In 1885, H.B. Smith, surveyor, who made map of Vancouver adopted by first City Council as "official," 
shows an island "Government Reserve." 

It is conjectured that the appellation Deadman's arose in part at least from the Indian custom of speaking 
of "deadhouse," "whitemans," "deadmans." It was formerly a burial grove for Indian tree burials. Of the 
known whites buried there, there is the McCartney baby, the Swede who committed suicide at Moodyville, 
and whose skeleton was set up by Dr. Langis for instruction purposes (see Early Vancouver), the man 
drowned off Hastings Mill, some Chinamen, and those who died of smallpox at the pest house there. 

Prof. Hill-Tout: "In 1 890, or about, I saw several tree burials, twenty or thirty feet up in the fir trees; the 
island was known at that time as Deadman's Island." 


William Walton, pioneer of 1885: "After the fire, I built a shack there. One day I came home and found 
someone had buried a Chinaman near, and a month later they planted another dead man near my shack. 
I said to my partner, 'I'm going to get out of this; this is a regular Deadman's island.' 'Good name for it,' he 
replied. When the Chinese riots took place in February 1886, they wanted me for a witness, but I had 
gone to my island to look at some traps I had set for coon. They asked my partner where I was. He said, 
'Deadman's Island.' They said, 'Where's that?' He told them, and the name stuck." 

Joseph Morton, son of John Morton, first resident of Vancouver: "Father told me that when he first settled 
on the Inlet in 1863, he went over to Deadman's Island and found Indian coffins in the trees and also 
fallen to the ground, their fastenings having rotted." Miss Ray, a niece of John Morton, says she heard 
him say that on one occasion, he (her uncle) had poked at a coffin in the trees with a stick, the fastenings 
were decayed, and a shower of bones fell; he slipped off lest the Indians might see him there." Joseph 
Morton's comment on this was, "No, the coffins were already fallen, and were on the ground when father 
examined them." 

Ex-Alderman W.H. Gallagher: "Brighouse himself told me that, when the man who was surveying their 
preemption" (the "West End") "was laying out the boundaries, he said, 'I will put the island in your 
preemption for five dollars.' Hailstone said, 'Don't give it to him, we've enough stuff already.'" (Early 
Vancouver, 1931.) 


August Kitsilano: "Chol-welsh, Lost Lagoon." 


Conversation, August Jack Khatsahlano, 12 September 1940: "Chul-walsh; that means 'the bay 
what goes dry'; that is Coal Harbour." 

Tim Moody: "Chil-whalsh, south end of Lost Lagoon, means 'dry,' 'passage,' 'gets dry at times when tide 
goes out.'" 

Dick Isaacs: "Chul-whalsh, right up south end of Lost Lagoon, up by narrow neck of land between Second 
Beach and Coal Harbour." 

Andrew Paull: "Chul-whah-ulch, means 'gets dry at times, when tide goes out.'" 

Mrs. Robert Strathie, later Mrs. Emily Eldon, wife of an early park superintendent or "ranger": "The first 
bridge across to Stanley Park was a fallen tree across the water at the point where the bridge, and later 
the causeway, was built." (See Early Vancouver.) 

Ceperley and Ross map: shows the first entrance to Stanley Park, before the bridge was built, as a trail 
along the southern shore of Lost Lagoon, or Chul-whah-ulch. 

Joseph Morton: see Early Vancouver or The First Settlers on Burrard's Inlet for narrative of hanging of 
Indian woman by her own people at the entrance to Stanley Park. She had murdered her child. 

Tyndall's Creek. 

Exact spelling unknown. Joseph Morton, son of John Morton, says that his father told him that the name 
of the creek on which he located his cabin about 100 yards west of Burrard Street, was known as 
Tyndall's Creek, or Tindell's Creek. There is another instance of changed creek names. Jemmett's Indian 
reservation survey map, 1880, shows Lynn Creek as "Fred's Creek." 


Location approximately of the present C.P.R. station and docks. 

August Kitsilano: "Puckaals. C.P.R. Dock, pier D." 

Jim Franks: "Puckaals." 

Dick Isaacs: "Foot of Granville Street where C.P.R. station is. Lots big trees there, lots bushes, lots 
shade, not much sunlight; there was a cliff there, and above very heavy timber. White rocks there." 


Paull: "Puck-ahlc or Puck-ahls; it means 'white rocks,' where the big brewery was." Note: the old Red 
Cross Brewery, remains of walls of which still stand just beside the entrance to the C.P.R. tunnel on 
Hastings Street West, stood at the mouth of the creek beside which John Morton had his cabin. It drew its 
water from a dam in the creek. 

The "white rock" referred to would appear to be a light coloured shale rock which is to be seen exposed 
by the excavations of the railway below "The Bluff," that cliff elevation running between Granville Street 
and Burrard Street. 


August Kitsilano: "Luk-luk-kee is some place west of Kum-kum-lee; I don't know just where." 

Luck-lucky is "Old Gastown," says Jim Franks (Chil-lah-minst). 

Dick Isaacs: "Means a 'grove of nice trees.' About the site of old 'Gastown'; probably the famous 'Maple 
Tree' of Carrall Street was one of them. They stood between Portuguese Joe's shack" (at the foot of 
Abbott Street) "and the Sunnyside Hotel, foot of Carrall Street. They stood somewhere in the little curve of 
the shore, and about the point where the Indian Church and Methodist parsonage stood. Very pretty." 

Tate (who helped in the dedication of the first church, at the foot of Abbott Street): "There were a lot of 
pretty maple trees about there." 

Paull: "It means 'grove of beautiful trees.' 'Luck-luck-ee' is the pronunciation." 


August Kitsilano: "Kum-kum-lee, means 'vine maple'; the place is the point on which the Hastings Sawmill 

Dick Isaacs: "Kum-kum-lye. Point where the Hastings Sawmill was; there were a lot of maple trees there." 

Paull: "Kum-kum-lye is better than Kum-kum-lai. It means 'maple trees,' not 'vine maple.'" 


A number of smooth rocks or boulders grouped together on the shore at the point where the BC. Sugar 
refinery now stands, up which seals used to clamber, bask on the summits in the sun and slither down 
again into the water. Location about the foot of Raymur Avenue. 

Hill-Tout: "Chet-chaal-men." 

Paull: "Chu-chaal-men, at sugar refinery, foot of Raymur Avenue, don't know literal meaning. Where the 
seals used to come ashore." 

Dick Isaacs: "Chet-ail-men, west of the sugar refinery. Lots of seals used to come out of the water there, 
and get on the big rocks." 

Tim Moody: "Chet-ale-mun, 'mun,' not 'men.'" 


Paull: "Hup-hah-pai, or pie. The early settlers called it 'Cedar Cove,' at the foot of the hill on Powell Street; 
a large creek entered Burrard Inlet there. It means 'lots of cedar trees there.'" 

August Kitsilano: "Hupup-pye, or Hup-hup-pii, old 'Cedar Cove.'" 

Compare Huphapailthp (Musqueam) with Huphahpai (Squamish); both refer to cedar trees. 

Burrard Inlet. 

The stretch of inland water known as Burrard Inlet seems to be without name. Tim Moody, aged Indian 
with forehead made flat from former Indian practices on babies to accomplish this, says — and Andrew 
Paull says contrariwise, and that Tim is unreliable — that "Slail-wit-tuth" includes the entire channel from 
the Narrows eastward, and that it means "go inside place" out of English Bay. Paull says this is a 
confusion of location caused by the marriage of a Coquitlam Indian to an Indian River Indian. The 
Coquitlam Indians came down to Port Moody on their way to Indian River, and the name attached itself to 


the upper end of the inlet. Properly, it should be spelt "Inlailwatash," and refers to Indian River Indian 
reservation. Paull knows of no name for the inlet. 


Dick Isaacs: "An old channel, once a stream of Seymour Creek, now dry, a mile east of the main part of 
Seymour Creek, and once part of it. The dry old channel is said still to be seen, just west of the Seymour 
Creek pipe line road, where it leaves the main channel. At one time, Steetsemah was a very popular 
resort for Indian fishermen, lots of crab, fish, salmon, etc., etc., caught there, and old Indians speak of it 
with enthusiasm when referring to it as a fishing ground." 

Tim Moody: "Little creek east of Seymour Creek; lots of salmon, trout, crab." 

August Kitsilano: "Don't know meaning; shall have to ask old people." 

Paull: "Not sure of meaning; it may be it means something about 'little river.'" 


Seymour Creek. 

Paull: "Chay-chil-whoak or Chay-chil-whuk, derived from word for 'near' or 'narrow'; perhaps refers to 
Second Narrows, but it is the name of Seymour Creek." 

Hill-Tout: "Chay-chil-whoak." 

Tim Moody: "Chay-chil-whak." 

August Kitsilano: "Chay-chil-woak, Seymour Creek, just a name, no meaning." 


A location on the shore between Seymour Creek and Lynn Creek, east of a small slough. 

Dick Isaacs: "The little place of masks'; it is diminutive of Whoi-Whoi, 'masks' in Stanley Park." 

Paull: "Whqa-whi-qwa. It means 'the little place where masks were made.' A shingle mill stood there on 
the Seymour Reserve." 

Tate: "'Swhy-whee,' that is really the name of the mask itself. Whenever an important person died, they 
performed the swhywhee, or death dance." 


Lynn Creek, also shown on Jemmett's Indian Reservation map of 1880 as "Fred's Creek." 

Hill-Tout: "Whoal-cha." 

August Kitsilano: "Hal-cha, just a name." 

Paull: "Kha-ul-cha." 

Dick Isaacs: "Hahrl-cha." 

Tim Moody: "Harl-cha." 

Tate: "Khaalcha or Khaulcha is best spelling." 


A small slough at the foot of the hill east of Moodyville, crossed by a concrete bridge now. 

Dick Isaacs: "Uth-kyme, snakes there, lots of them. Indian no use for snakes. When white man come they 
all go away." 

Hill-Tout: "Whal-skyme, means 'serpent pond.'" 

Tim Moody: "Whath-kyme, little slough east of Moodyville." 


Jim Franks: "Uth-kyme, not Whal-skyme; snakes." 

Paull: "Uth-ka-yum. Snake slough, where the concrete bridge is east of Moodyville." 

Tate: "'Uth' means 'snake.'" 

Khats-nich or Haats-nich. 


Captain Chas. W. Gates told me, 25 October 1 951 , that old Peel-Kway-lune (Joe Thomas) told 
him before he died recently at the age of 86, that the name of the No. 3 Indian Reserve and 
Seymour Creek was Haats-nich, but if it is, I think the spelling would be more correct as Khahts- 
nich. J.S. Matthews. 


A point of land where the Moodyville Sawmill stood. 

August Kitsilano: "Siox, it means 'point of land.'" 

Tim Moody: "Say-yix." 

Dick Isaacs: "Sahix." 

Paull: "Sahix. Not a headland, although its appearance suggests a bold bluff rising out of a low shore 
spreading from the First to the Second Narrows, but literally, a 'cape' or 'point.'" 

Tate: "Don't know word." 


Location almost at Ferry Landing, North Vancouver, but a little to the eastward of Lonsdale Avenue. 

Paull: "Estahltohk was at the mouth of a small creek which emptied into Burrard Inlet beside McAllister's 
Mill, now gone, just east, about 1 00 yards, of the ferry landing at North Vancouver and a few feet east of 
Wallace's Shipyards. It means 'a large pretty house is built there.'" 


The little harbour and creek around which is now gathered the North Vancouver Indian Reserve and 
church; otherwise, the mouth of Mission Creek. 

Hill-Tout: "Stlawn." 

August Kitsilano: "Sla-han." 

Tim Moody: "Ustlaun." 

North Vancouver Indian woman: "Us-slawn, not Slawn." 

Dick Isaacs: "Slaan, right here where I live, a little harbour and cove used to be here." 

Paull: Us-tla-aun, the little creek where the Home Oil Co.'s tanks are now at the foot of Bewicke Street. It 
means 'head of bay.'" 


Hill-Tout: "It means 'saltwater creek.' Tlas-tlem-mough." 

Paull: "Tlath-mah-ulk or Klath-mah-ulk, Mackey Creek." 

August Kitsilano: "Klas-malk or Klasmauk, exactly where the Capilano Timber Co.'s mill is at the foot of 
Pemberton Avenue. It means 'saltwater.'" 

Tim Moody: "Tlas-maulk." 

Tate: "Klasmaulk is the best spelling." 



The name of the village and fortified huts which formerly stood on the east bank at the mouth of the 
Homulcheson Creek, now called the Capilano River. 

Paull: "Homultcheson, just a name, no meaning." 

Hill-Tout: "Homultchison." 

Kitsilano: "Homultchisin." 

Dick Isaacs: "Homul-tchit-son; used to be Indian houses there." 

Rev. CM. Tate: "I doubt whether the village was palisaded." (See Haxten, aged Indian woman interpreted 
by Andrew Paull.) "More likely, the huts were loop holed; that is the only form of fortification I ever saw 
anywhere. The Indians cut holes in the cedar walls and when attacked retired to their houses, and shot 
their arrows at the enemy through those holes." (See drawing in Captain Cook's Voyages at Nootka.) 
"Inside the earthen floor was frequently two or three or even more feet below the bottom of the wooden 
wall, and thus gave additional protection." 

For Capilano, refer [to] narratives. 

For the story of Kokohaluk, see Andrew Paull's (Qoitchetahl) narrative, The Burning of Homulcheson, etc. 

Prospect Point, Homulcheson, Capilano, Kiaken. 

note added later: 

Conversation, August Jack Khatsahlano, 12 September 1940. (See page 475, Coast Indians 
[blue bound book, small], Hill-Tout's report, 1900, to British Association for Advancement of 
Science: "Kiaken, i.e. palisade, or fenced village, a place on Burrard Inlet.) 

August: "He must mean the time the Fort Rupert Indians came to capture a woman." (See Story 
of Kokohaluk in Early Vancouver.) "The Squamish stole a woman, and the Fort Rupert Indians 
came to get her, but she did not want to go; that was where they put the poles around" (stockade) 
"and she came out and told the Fort Rupert Indians to go away or they would all be killed, and 
they would have to fight if they stayed where they were as there were a lot of men inside, but 
actually, there were only five women. So they retired across the Narrows to Prospect Point, and 
that was where the Squamish men were in hiding; the Fort Rupert men ran into them, and they all 
got killed." (Still another version of the old tradition.) 


Dick Isaacs: "Swy-wee, a slough or lagoon a short distance west of mouth of Capilano River, and 
approximately at the foot of Eleventh Street produced." 

Tim Moody: "Swy-wee." 

August Kitsilano: "Swy-wee." 

Hill-Tout: "Swai-wi." 

Paull: "Swy-wee, a name which indicates a species of smelts, and possibly refers to where the Indians 
caught them. I think the name is derived from Sway-we, i.e. smelts." 

Tate: "'Swee-wah' or oolichan fish are very much like smelts, and no doubt all those inlets were at one 
time infested with those fish. I know several which were, but no longer are." 

W.S. Jemmett's survey of Indian Reservation on Burrard Inlet, etc., 1880, in possession of Andrew Paull, 
secretary, Squamish Indian Council, shows "grass" around the slough, and "beaver dams" at its head 

Tradition says Indians spread nets or fish weirs, hurdle nets, etc., across the mouth of the slough. 


West Vancouver shoreline. 

Tim Moody says there was never any special name for the West Vancouver shoreline as there was for 
Point Grey (Ulksen). 


Navvy Jack's Point, West Vancouver 

Hill-Tout: "Kitch-ahm." 

Dick Isaacs: "Kitch-ahm, a point which sticks out west of Swy-wee." 

Tim Moody: "Chid-aulm." Considerable difficulty in interpreting sound; sometimes seemed like "sl-ahm." 

Paull: "Chut-alm or chut-aum." 

Tate: "Chutaum is a good way to spell it." 

August Kitsilano: "A point, Navvy Jack's Point. Means 'a mix-up.' The tide flowing and the back eddy 
along the shore meet at the point, and cause a choppy water, i.e. 'mix-up.' Pronounce 'Cha-tahm.'" 


Hill-Tout: "Smul-lah-kwah." 

Dick Isaacs: "Smul-lah-qua, a little bay west of Chutaum." 

Paull: "Smul-lah-qua, a place west of Dundarave." 

Dick Isaacs adds: "A little cupped bay, two miles east of Stuckale, small creek there." 

Jim Franks: "Old people go there get Mowich," (food) "nice quiet place, little bay high rocks on bank, little 
gravel beach, only three-quarters mile west of Dundarave." (Not so far west as Stuckale.) "Matthias 
Capilano's people go there long time ago." 

Tate: "Smullaqua is good spelling." 

August Kitsilano: "A lot of people, I think, killed there, something terrible, may be eight or nine men, 
perhaps in canoe, all killed one time, in fight or war; not by accident, or drowning, but killed." 

Paull: "It may be that it has some reference to the fight for Kokohaluk, the noblewoman. I don't know." 

August Haatsalano: "It means 'a thigh' (upper part of leg). I don't know why." 


Where the Great North Cannery is at Sherman. 

Hill-Tout: "Stuck-hail." 

Tim Moody: "Stuck-ale." 

Dick Isaacs: "Stuck-hail, now Great Northern Cannery." 

August Kitsilano: "Stuc-k-hail. 'Stuck' is a rude word for smell. That's why we say 'Stuckale,' so our 
children not become rude. A bad smell, such as made by a skunk; Skunk Cove" (Caulfield) "not far away. 
Terrible bad smell." 

Paull: "Stuckale; it means literally expelling human gas." 

J.F. Noble, friend of Indians, Standard Bank Building: "There is a man living back of Caulfield who has for 
years been lighting his house with natural gas; I wonder if that seeped out and created a smell which the 
Indians thought very bad." (See Skunk Cove, below.) 

Tate: "Stuckale is good spelling." 


West Vancouver, Stuckale, Marr Creek. 

West Vancouver Hollyburn Oil Co. Ltd. (drill for petroleum), 1914. A paragraph in the prospectus of this 
company (see docket) reads: "For more than twenty years, oil seepages have been known and reported 
by old timers as occurring in this district. Seven years ago, George Marr, a homesteader on D.L. 815, 
attempted to sink a well for domestic use, but states he was compelled to abandon and refill it on account 
of the too abundant gas and oil seepage. This District lot is included in the Company's stakings. Upon a 
portion of it occurs a phenomenal seepage of black crude oil or petroleum, located by Mr. Albert B. 
Whieldon, a practical oil man of many years experience in the Pennsylvania and Ohio oil fields, who will 
now assume the active management and supervision of the company's operations. A sample of the 
seepage petroleum on D.L. 815, West Vancouver is: Naphtha, 24.71, Burning oil 35.08, Lubricating oil 
20.02, Residue 20.19 = 100. Assayed by G.G. West, Provincial Assayer." The prospectus is dated 24 
June 1914. 

Skunk Cove. 

August Haatsalano: "It must have a name, but I don't know it." 


The Indian name for the location of the Great Northern Cannery at Sherman, West Vancouver, is 
Stuckale. "Stuck" is a rude word for smell, such as made by a skunk. "Stuckale" means "Terribly bad 

In or about 1931, J.F. Noble, a friend of the Squamish Indians, office in Standard Bank Building, told me 
(see Early Vancouver, Matthews, Vol. 2) "There is a man living back of Caulfield who has for years been 
lighting his house with natural gas; I wonder if that seeped out and created a smell which the Indians 
thought very bad." 


Point Atkinson. Accent on Skay. 

Hill-Tout: "Skay-awat-sut. Point Atkinson." 

August Kitsilano: "Ska-whut-soot." 

Dick Isaacs: "Skay-wit-sut." 

Tim Moody: "Skay-wit-sut, means 'going around point.'" 

Jim Franks: "Skay-wit-sut." 

Tate: "Skaywitsut is best spelling." 

Paull: "Skaywitsut, means 'go around point.'" 


Paull: "Kew Beach. Chulks." 

August Kitsilano: "Erwin Point, Chulks, north of Point Atkinson, south of Eagle Harbour, where there is, on 
the southern tip and in a crevasse facing south, a huge rock or stone five or six feet in diameter. It means 
'a sling with a stone in it'; it is the one which the Gods threw at Mt. Garibaldi, and which missed the 
mountain." [NOTE ADDED LATER: "A big rock stuck in a crack," says Haatsalano.] 

See long narrative by August Kitsilano on this legend. 


Eagle Harbour. 

Hill-Tout: "Ke-tlals'm, i.e. 'nipping grass,' so called because the deer go there in spring to east the fresh 

Dick Isaacs: "Kee-khaal-sum, Eagle Harbour." 


August Kitsilano: "Ke-car-sum, Eagle Harbour. It means 'cook fish,' you know, Indians cook fish with stick 
split down from top little way, slip fish in slit, stick other end sharp stick in ground, toast fish in front of 
camp fire." 

Paull: "Kitsilano is wrong. It is a nice little bay, small creek Kee-khaal-sum, bear and deer used to go 
there to gnaw. It means, well, you know what beaver do, gnaw, chew things. The animals used to go 
there to gnaw, probably grass and young buds in spring." 


Eagle or Grebe Islands: "No name," says Haatsalano. "Indians buried dead on inside island. Used 
to be a tree on it and, nearly always, an eagle on the top of tree." 


Paull: "Stoaktux, means 'all cut up,' that is, the rocks are all cut up in channels, fluted, a little bay, picnic 
ground; ferry runs to Bowen Island from there. Stuk-tuks is too abrupt; abruptness destroys sense of root 
from which it is derived. Stoaktux is better; it means that the rocks are all cut up into channels along the 
shore. Fisherman's Cove." 

August Kitsilano: "Stuck-tooks, on Howe Sound, north of Point Atkinson, big dance hall there now. The 
southwestern tip of Whytecliff Point, and nor-nor-west of Whyte Island. It is about 1 50 feet south of a 
house which stands there." 


Horse Shoe Bay. 

Hill-Tout: "Tchakqai. Horse Shoe Bay." 

Tim Moody: "Cha-hye." 

Dick Isaacs: "Cha-hye." 

August Kitsilano: "Cha-hy. A big bay facing north, Horse Shoe Bay. It means that peculiar sizzling noise, 
similar to that made when frying bacon in a pan, but which is made by myriads of small fish — smelts do 
it — moving in the water." Note: at one time this faint noise could be heard almost any summer's evening 
at Kitsilano Beach. It is made by shoals of smelt swimming in the shallow water on the beach; it is said to 
be caused by the wriggling of their tails. 

Paull: "What August Kitsilano says may be true. Be sure to make it 'Cha'" (to distinguish it from Mt. 
Garibaldi.) "Cha-hai." 


Hill-Tout: "Means 'paint.'" 

Paull: "Tumbth means the red paint with which warriors and maidens adorned their faces for war, 
ceremonies, dances; maidens for beautification, warriors for war and ceremonies. White woman do it too, 
only pay big price at drug stores for same thing in fancy boxes." 


Paull: "The general term applied to 'protected waters,' which it means, inside Passenger Island and 
between Point Atkinson and Gibson's Landing. It means 'sheltered waters.'" 


Haatsalano: "'Eye-syche' is any 'protected water'; in English 'a channel.' There are several 'eye- 
syche' in Howe Sound; channels between islands and mainland." 

Supplementary, and unverified. 


Steveston, B.C. 

August Kitsilano: "Qy-youka, or Kwy-yowhk." 



Terra Nova Cannery, south end Sea Island. 

August Kitsilano: "Why-kit-sen." 


"Old Orchard." 

Chief Matthias Capilano: "Tumtamayhtun was an Indian place afterwards known to whitemen as 
'Old Orchard [near loco].'" 


Haatsalano: "No, at Belcarra, not loco." 



Haatsalano: "The Lions opposite Vancouver." 

Meaning: "Twins." 


Trepanning at least 1000 years ago 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_005 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_006 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_007 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_008 


The Name "Kitsilano." 

"Capilano" and "Kitsilano," assumed by many to be Indian names, are actually neither English nor Indian, 
but a concoction of both created within recent years, and derived from Indian man, not Indian places. 

Some time prior to July 1905, the Canadian Pacific Railway requested the late Jonathan Miller, an early 
resident of Granville and its constable, afterwards for many years the first postmaster of Vancouver, to 
furnish them with a suitable name for a subdivision of land adjacent to Greer's Beach. Mr. Miller invoked 
Professor Chas. Hill-Tout's, F.R.S.C, F.R.A.I., profound knowledge of Indian matters. Professor Hill-Tout 
writes, 8 May 1931: 

To the best of my knowledge it came about in the following manner. 

The name by which the Kitsilano district was first known was "Greer's Beach," so called because 
a squatter by the name of Greer had erected a dwelling there, near the beach. 

The land was afterwards in control of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and when they opened it up 
for settlement (note, about 1 91 0), they desired to give the district a more suitable name than 
Greer's Beach, and, knowing that Mr. Jonathan Miller, who was then postmaster of Vancouver, 
was on friendly terms with the Indians, they requested him to find an appropriate name for the 

Mr. Miller referred the request to me; knowing that I had given considerable time and study to the 
customs, habits and place names of the local tribe. After some little consideration, I chose the 
hereditary name of one of the chiefs of the Squamish people, namely Kates-ee-lan-ogh, and 
modified it after the manner in which Kapilanogh has been modified by dropping the final guttural. 
We thus got the word Kates-ee-lano. This Mr. Miller or the C.P.R. authorities further modified by 
changing the long 'a' in the first syllable into an "i," and thus we have Kitsilano. 

You may be interested to know that the Indian pronunciation of Kapilano was Kee-ap-ee-lan-ogh. 
This also was an heredity name [not quite correct; hardly "hereditary," but conferred much as the 
title of a Royal Duke is] of the chief who lived near the mouth of the river which we know by this 
name. Both names have the same ending, lanogh. This suffix signifies man. We find it also in 
another of their names; thus, Kalanogh, meaning the first man. 

I could not learn what the significance of the first part of the other two hereditary names was; the 
Indians did not appear to know it themselves. The terms are very ancient. 

(Signed) Chas. Hill-Tout 

Note: Tate says, "Thit-see-mah-lah-nough" was chief at Musqueam. Paull and August Kitsilano dispute 
the hereditary character of both names. The facts appear to be contrary to Indian custom, which indicate 
that when a child reached a certain age of responsibility, the child was given a traditional name. 
Qoitchetahl (Andrew Paull) was a grown man when given this name. Joe Capilano was given the name 
"Capilano" at a ceremony after he became chief. Layhulette, or Mary, daughter of Chief Matthias Joe 
(Capilano) was given hers by her great-grandmother. 

The first appearance in print of the name "Kitsilano" was a newspaper announcement stating that 
Postmaster Miller had, approximately 1 905 or earlier, adopted it as the name of a new sub-post office to 
serve the district known as Greer's Beach — actually, no such post office was ever established. It 
remained unused for some time, until one morning the legend "Kitsilano" appeared on two or three street 
cars which inaugurated the service on the Kitsilano Street car line, and thus brought the name 
prominently to public notice. Geo. S. Hutchings, who lived on York and Balsam streets, says this was 
Dominion Day 1905. Subsequently, approximately 1909 (first lot sold by C.P.R. October 1909), the land 
north of the C.P.R. right of way was placed for sale, and the name quickly applied itself to this area. 
Gradually, the name spread from the small arc of land surrounding Greer's Beach, pushed Fairview back 
eastward — Fairview once extended to Trafalgar Street, the city boundary; there was no other name for it 
prior to the adoption of Kitsilano — and as the settlement extended further westward into the clearing 
westwards towards Alma Road, and southwards towards Broadway, the name Kitsilano followed the 
settlement until now, 1 933, it comprises a great section of land spreading from the Kitsilano Indian 


Reserve to Jericho and southwards over an undefined area being — generally speaking — the flat land 
behind Kitsilano Beach, the face of the hill, and the flat land between Trafalgar Street and Alma Road 
back as far as the hills. It is somewhat hard to say where Kitsilano stops, and where Fairview, Talton 
Place, Shaughnessy Heights, Quilchena, Dunbar Heights and Jericho start. 

Tate, early Indian missionary, says it is "impossible" to reproduce in English the sound as the Indian 
pronounced Kitsilano. 

Tate spells it Haat-sa-lah-nough, the last syllable like "lough" in Scottish" or "nough" in enough. 

Hill-Tout spells it Khatsalanoogh and Qatsilanoq. 

August Kitsilano, grandson of Chief of the name, signs his name August "Haatsalano." 


In 26 August 1938, by deed poll, August Jack adopted the name "August Jack Khatsahlano." 
(Original declaration in City Archives.) 

The Legend of Haatsa-lah-nough (Khat-sah-lano, Kitsilano). 

As related by Que-yah-chulk (Dick Isaacs of North Vancouver Indian Reserve) with the assistance of 
Andrew Paul (Qoitchetahl), 7 November 1932. Que-yah-chulk is probably seventy years old, speaks 
English excellently, is active physically and mentally, says he remembers Mr. Derrick who built the first 
church in Granville in 1876 when "I was a boy then," lost one arm working in the Hastings Sawmill in 
1886, cannot read or write, and is a brother to the late celebrated character, Aunt Sally, "prehistoric" 
resident of Stanley Park. He lives with his daughter and grandchildren; his brother has just died. 
Queyahchulk says: 

"Haatsalanough name very old, used by Indians long before Chief Haatsalanough of Chaythoos, Stanley 
Park and Toktakami, near Squamish. 

"Haatsalanough of ancient days, long years ago, was visiting down near Point Roberts at a point where 
there is now an Indian Reserve at a place called English Bluff; his wife was with him. 

"A woman of the tribe broke the moral code; her punishment was that she should be deserted by her 

"Haatsalanough decided to leave the place with the others, and said to his wife, 'where shall we go,' and 
then said, 'Oh, I know good place; lots of elk, beaver, deer, salmon, duck, fine place, plenty food, plenty 

"Moose?" interjected Andrew Paull. 

"No, no moose," replied Queyahchulk. "Only elk." 

"That," said Paull, and Queyahchulk nodded assent, "was how the first man Haatsalanough came to 
settle at Snauq" (Kitsilano Indian Reserve.) 

Then Paull added, "My wife's grandmother, very old woman, said to be 1 12 years old, anyway it is easy to 
see she is over 100, told me the story in the same way. She is Mrs. Harriet George, her Indian name 

She died about 1938 — see obituary book. Not 112, or anything like it. 

Residents in Kitsilano who arrived as recently as the early years of the twentieth century can recall the 
enormous number of ducks which frequented False Creek in winter as recently as 1 900 and 1 902 or 
1 904. From the verandah of his clapboard cottage on the shore at the foot of Ash Street, the writer has 
often shot them. The last muskrats caught in the swamp back of Kitsilano Beach were caught in the 
slough where Creelman Street now is, just prior to the filling in of this swamp by the pumping of sand from 
False Creek in 1 91 3. Salmon swam up this slough as far as the corner of Third Avenue and Cedar Street 
as late, at least, as 1900, and up to Eighth Avenue in Mount Pleasant. The creek at Bayswater Street was 


infested with trout, and also the slough which ran about under the Henry Hudson School. The trees on the 
Kitsilano Indian Reserve were cut down just after the Great War; before the Great War, there were coon 
in those trees. In 1 900, hundreds of thousands of salmon were caught, more than the canneries could 
handle, were thrown away, and littered the beach at Kitsilano with stinking decaying fish, which 
illuminates the quantity of fish available for food before the white man came. Smelts could be gathered in 
the fingers, an old hat, a tin dish, or raked up the sand with a garden rake. 

will assist In the staging of this event 

are Andy Paul (Te Quatchetahl), 

Chief Joe Mathias and August Jack 

(Haatsaiano). Tepees will be pitched 
on the ice with campfires before 
them. Special lighting effects will 
create the illusion of a moonlit lake. 
Isabelle McEwen, well-known so- 
prano, in Indian costume, will sing 
the "Indian Love Call" as a climax 
to the feature. 

Internationally famous skaters from 
Eastern Canada and the United States, 
as well as B. C. celebrities of the ice, 
will make the Rotary ice carnival this 
year the most entertaining and spec- 
tacular In the club's history, state 
carnival executives. "A^kY****' 

Indian War Dances f ?*& 
To Feature Rotary 
Ice Carnival Dec. 7 

Scene* harking back to the days of 
ths colorful Indian war dance will 
form * feature of the Rotary ice car- 
nival at the Arena on December 7, it 
is announced. 

Versa Miles Fraser, well-known 
Vancouver fancy skater, will lead a 
troupe of twenty child skaters, decked 
In Indian costumes, through the 
colorful weaving and fantastic actions 
of the war dance to the tune of 
throbbing tom-toms. 

Well-known Indian celebrities who 

£ />? si" a. ft> fee &r of Ti<xme "&stct,£sa.ZcL??o" tW />r/W2~. August 
U7t-nM ha.d.-rie\/eY used. TAe Ticcryie. QycL~ncCf<-c£AeY~ 

it> Tna/o? 'fri. started jLt6y actc/yess/wcr ZetteYs ~£o 7rt %/ 
Augus t X 7Y(zaLl'saZa.-7to f L,o^eyCaLhflciyzd.7hsZ-Offrce, 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_009 



: :hie f HAA .: 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_010 


The first photograph of August (Jack) Haatsalano. 56 years old — never previously photographed. 
Steffens-Colmer Photo, Vancouver. 

Cap: eagle's feathers, white patch of rabbit (winter) skins, cloth medallions made by his daughter. 

Coat: leather, adorned with little club shaped, flat, painted wood. Hard wood to make noise, when dancing 

Trousers, etc. Trousers of cotton, wool socks, coloured, and moccasins. Moccasins have rattles but were 

not worn on this occasion; same as rattles on chest. 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_01 1 

The Indian food supply before the whitemans came. August Kitsilano. 

"Whitemans food change everything," said August Kitsilano in a conversation on 26 October 1932 while 
we sat at lunch in a downtown restaurant. "Indians had plenty food long ago, but I could not do without 
tea and sugar now. Them days, Indians not want tea and sugar; know nothing about it. Lots meat, bear, 
deer, beaver; cut meat up in strips and dry, no part wasted, not even the guts. Clean out the guts, fill him 
up with something good, make sausage, just like whitemans; only head wasted, throw head away. Then 
salmon. Plenty salmon, sturgeon, flounder, trout, lots all sorts fish, some sun dry, some smoke dry. Indian 
know which best wood for smoke dry; lots crab and clam on beach. 

"Then berries. Indian woman know how to dry berries, dry lots berries, just like raisins. Dry them first, then 
press in pancakes, make them in blocks like pancakes, about three pounds to block," (here he made a 
sign of piling them up in piles.) (Rev. CM. Tate says, "big, flat compressed cakes.") "stack cakes in high 
pile in house; when want cook, break piece off. Elderberry put in sack, you know Indian sack; put sack in 
creek so clean water run over them and keep them fresh. By and by get sack out of creek, take some 
berry out, put sack back again. Oh, lots of berries 'til berries come again. 

"Then vegetables and roots. Indian woman gather vegetables and roots. Woman dig roots with sharp 
stick, down deep, sometimes four feet, follow root with stick, break off; some very nice for eating, some" 
(fern root) "make white flour powder, some dry for winter. Oh, lots of food those days. I think maybe three 
thousand, perhaps more, Indians live around Vancouver those days. 

"But whitemans food change everything. Everywhere whitemans goes he change food, China, other 
place, he always change food where he goes. 

"I was born at Snauq, the old Indian village under the Burrard bridge. When I little boy, I listen old people 
talk. Old people say Indians see first whitemans up near Squamish. When they see first ship they think it 
an island with three dead trees, might be schooner, might be sloop, two masts and bowsprit, sails tied up. 
Indian braves in about twenty canoes come down Squamish river, go see. Get nearer, see men on island, 
men have black clothes with high hat coming to point at top, think most likely black uniform and great coat 
turned up collar like priest's cowl. Whitemans give Indians ship's biscuit; Indian not know what biscuit for. 
Before whitemans come Indians have little balls, not very big, roll them along ground shoot at them with 
bow and arrow for practice, teach young Indians so as not to miss deer; just the same you use clay 
pigeon. Indian not know ship's biscuit good to eat, so roll them along ground like little practice balls, shoot 
at them, break them up." (Sign as of bowling a cricket ball "underhand.") 


Molasses for stiff legs. 

"Then whitemans on schooner give molasses, same time biscuit. Indian not know what it for, so Indian 
rub on leg" (thighs and calves) "for medicine. You know Indian sit on legs for long time in canoe; legs get 
stiff; rub molasses on legs make stiffness not so bad. Molasses stick legs bottom of canoe. Molasses not 
much good for stiff legs, but my ancestors think so; not their fault, just mistake — they not know molasses 
good to eat." And then August Kitsilano laughed heartily. 

There are, at this moment, well over 6,000 white families supported by "relief" in Vancouver, where 
formerly three to five thousand Indians lived off land, water and beach. 




Thought Rice Dead Worms 

And Used Molasses to 

Repair Canoes. 

NANAIMO, Nov, 30.— Moses Ward, 
native son of Nanaimo Indian Re- 
serve, unfolded an interesting story, 
handed down, to him by his late 
father, at the annual banquet of Na- ( 
naimo Pioneers' Association, com- 
memorating tne arrival of the historic 
Princess Boyal eighty years ago, that 
brought the first coal miners from 
Staffordshire, England. 

' Well, Till: cum s," the Indian said 
"when the schooner was sighted by 
my ancestors, they thought it was a 
big anima\ One hundred skookum 
Redmen were selected to paddle out 
to meet it. They wer» frightened 
when they saw the smoking clay pipe 
in the captain's mouth and his 'toe- 
less' feet, clad in shoes. The captain 
called 'Charko,' meaning 'Come,' The 
Indians refused until a box of bis- 
cuits was thrown to them. Climbing 

aboard ship they were given presents 
of rice, which they thought were dead 
worms, and molasses, which they used 
for pitch to repair their canoes. A 
shining axe blade was attached to a 
cedar btnigh and worn as an orna- 
ment *by the chief." 

When its use was explained the 
following day, the new axe was rented 
to the Indians for a blanket, which 
collected enough blankets for a pot- 
latch. Two thousand Indians were 
encamped at Departure Bay at that 
time, the speaker said. 

Ex -May or Busby, the chairman, in- 
troduced Mrs. Tom Glaholm, first 
white child born here, and John 
Meakin. who came to Canada on the 
Princess Royal. 

John Shaw reviewed the history of 
the society, which started with thirty 
members three year^ ago, and now 
has two hundred. 

Folks of all ages joined lustly in 
community singing, led by J. Ber- 
tram, and Mrs. H. Freeman, D, Man- 
son and R. Robertson took part in a 
programme that followed the supper. 



August Kitsilano. 

The following is a copy of a statement made by August Jack or August Kitsilano, grandson of Chief 
Haatsalanough of Chaythoos and Squamish, to Major J. S. Matthews, 8 August 1932. 

It is a hastily drawn up paper, typewritten by Major Matthews as August Kitsilano talked. 

The Archives 
Old City Hall 
Main Street 
Vancouver, B.C. 

8 August 1932 

This is the way it is. Haatsa-lah-nough was born at Toktakamik [or Tuk-tpak-mik], Squamish 
River. He was dead in Stanley Park here [died in Stanley Park], bury him Squamish. My father 
was Supplejack, his Indian name was Hay-tilk, [Tate says, "I knew a Hra-tilt," Paull says, "Hey- 
tulk"] and he was died in the Stanley Park, and they had him in a, you know, it is not buried; that 
is, the way, you know, how they used to do; they make little house, all glass around it; and after 
that they move him to Squamish, bury him, oh, that was, may be, that was the time they were 
making that road, Stanley Park, and they move him. They have little house, my father was inside, 
[lying in a canoe - JSM] they have glass all around, and red blankets on top, on the top of house. 

Haatsa-lah-nough did not move to Snauq, just his brother Chip-kaay-am. Haatsa-lah-nough, he 
died before we move to Snauq. Chip-kaay-am was the first one to go to Snauq to live. His 
brother-in-law Hay-not-tem go with him, I could not say how long ago, long time ago. Chip-kaay- 
am was buried in graveyard at Snauq. Haatsa-lah-nough was the chief at Tookparkamike. Chip- 
kaay-am come from Squamish and go to Snauq; my father, his brother, go to Stanley Park, just 
below Whoi-Whoi [Lumberman's Arch] to Chaysloos, means high bank, like that [gesticulates with 
hand high above head] west of where the stream comes out of the little lake you call Beaver 
Lake. You know where that pipe line crosses to Capilano, you see that clear place, that is the 

My mother was Sally, Indian name Qwhay-wat, born at Yek-waup-sum Reserve, Squamish, she 
came with my father from Squamish. She died in Snauq, False Creek, about twenty-six years 
ago, and is buried at Squamish, buried at Yekwaupsum graves. Haatsalanough's wife died before 
I was born, don't know her name. I remember my mother telling me about my grandfather very 
well; he was pretty husky, big, strong, stout man, but pretty old. Haatsalanough died when I was 
about three years old, and that is what my mother was telling me about my grandfather. 

I asked August Jack if "Capilano" was the title of the chief of the Squamish tribe, and "Haatsalanough" the 
vice-chief of the Squamish tribe before the white man came. (See Hill-Tout, page 476, Ethnological 
Survey of Canada, B.A.A.S. Bradford meeting, 1900, who says he was; also see Andrew Paull, secretary 
Squamish Indian Council, who, 1932, says this is incorrect.) August Kitsilano replied: 

No. They did not make one man the big chief over a number of lesser ones; all were equal, and 
ruled in their own reserves only. You see, coming down Squamish River, there are four reserves. 
Each one had its own chief, all equal; they did not make any one bigger than the other. 

So when Haatsalanough moved to Stanley Park, he did not give up his position as chief at Took- 
taak-mek; they simply moved back and forth, dried some smelts, salmon, clams, berries; and 
when the winter came on, went back to Squamish. 

My father Hay-tilk [Supplejack] had a brother. His whitemans name was Peter, his Indian name 
Kee-olst [or Kee-olch.] He is dead, buried at Musqueam. His wife was from Musqueam, and he 
stayed there all the time. I don't know her name. They had children; all dead excepting two. Alex 
is the oldest, Lucy is the youngest. Alex lives at Musqueam; Lucy is staying at North Vancouver 
Mission, not married. Alex must be about 48 now. 


My brothers and sisters were Louisa, the oldest; she died at Snauq, buried at Poquiosin Reserve, 
she married Mr. Burds, whiteman, and has two children now living: a daughter who married a 
whiteman who lives over by Magee Road; a son is at North Vancouver, Dave Burds. 

Cecile is next; all her children are dead. She married Joe Isaacs, Indian; she is dead. Willie Jack, 
my brother, was next. He died. He had a big family, but all died. When my father died, my mother 
some years afterwards married Jericho Charlie, his Indian name Chin-nal-sut. I have a half- 
brother, their son is Dominic. He has children. 

I am the youngest and only one living. My children are Emma, Celistine, Wilfred, Irene and 
Louisa; all same mother; my wife's name is Marrianne [or Marrion], her Indian name Swanamia. 
She is the only one now who wears a shawl; all the other Indian women wear coats now. My first 
wife died; no children. 

(signed) August Jack Kitsilano 

Witness: J.S. Matthews 

Note: this statement was read over to August — he cannot read or write — and he approved of it, and 
signed his name in ink — I guided his hand and pen. 

August distinctly pronounces Kitsilano as Haatsalano, not Khaatsa. Hill-Tout says Khaat, Tate says "no, 
Haats." Every indication is that Hill-Tout put in one too many Ks. 

Letter, No. 4806 from F.J.C. Ball, Indian Agent, 822 Metropolitan Building, Vancouver, 12 August 1932: 

"I regret that we have no record of birth, death or marriage of the father of August Jack, but according to 
our records there are no surviving children other than August Jack, whose age is shown on our books as 
54 (fifty-four) but there is no baptismal certificate on file." (The certificate is in City Archives.) 

August (Jack) Kitsilano or Haatsalano. 

Conversation with August Jack, son of Hay-tulk (Supplejack), grandson of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough of 
Chaythoos, Stanley Park, 7 July 1932. 

"I don't know my great-grandfather's name; it was not Haatsa-la-nough, but he had at least two sons, for 
one was my grandfather and the other his brother Chief Chip-kaay-am, called Chief George. My mother 
told me my grandfather Haatsalanough's hair was quite black when he died; she remarked especially 
upon it at his advanced age; it was ninety or more when he died. He had lived at Tooktakamai, up the 
Squamish River; he was born there. 

"Haatsalahnough and his brother Chip-kaay-am came down from Squamish. Chip-kaay-am was the first 
man to settle and build a village at Snauq" (Kitsilano Indian Reserve) "where he and his brother-in-law, 
Hay-not-em, the father of Chief Andrews, built a great potlatch house. Chip-kaay-am was known as a 
good kind man" (see Rev. CM. Tate) "and a devout Christian. He was known as Chief George by the 
whitemen, and lived at Snauq all the time except when they were up the Squamish in the summertime 
drying salmon. He died without son or sons, but had one daughter, who married a white man, John 
Beatty, and they had one daughter, living in Vancouver now. I do not know when it was that 
Haatsalanough first settled at Chaythoos, or when his brother Chip-kaay-am settled at Snauq, but they 
were both young men when they settled, and they were old ones when they died. Chip-kaay-am was 
buried at Snauq in the graveyard close to the Burrard Street bridge at Cedar Street and First Avenue, so 
it must have been a long time ago. His wife, my grandmother, died before I was born" (about 1877.) 
"Chip-kaay-am" (or Chip-Kaay-m) "was chief of the Snauq band. 

"Haatsalahnough went to Chaythoos, 'high bank' in Stanley Park, just east of Prospect Point, a little clear 
space where the water pipe line enters Stanley Park. He died, and was buried at Chaythoos. His house 
was close to a little creek at Chaythoos. I must have been about three years old when he died; that would 
be about 1 878 or thereabouts. There is no truth in the story that he came from Point Roberts; these 
young fellows get hold of all sorts of funny stories; that is a legend of another Haatsalahnough. 


"Then Haatsalahnough went to Snauq — lived at Chaythoos — it was probably to catch fish on the big sand 
bar on which Granville Island in False Creek now stands. The big bar was twenty or more acres in extent, 
dry at low tide, and the Indians had from time immemorial had a fish corral there; two converging fences 
of brush in the water made from hurdles of twisted vine maple fastened to sharpened stakes driven in the 
mud to guide the flounders and smelts in the narrow part where they were trapped." (Note: Paull says the 
fine nets were made from the fibres of the stinging nettle.) 

"My father was Hay-tilk" (or Hay-tulk, according to Paull, and Hra-tilt, according to Tate) "or 'Supplejack'; 
that's how I get the name August Jack — it should be Supplejack. He died when I was just old enough to 
cut wood — about six years old. He had two houses, one at Snauq, and one at Chaythoos. We moved 
from one to the other, from Kitsilano to Stanley Park, and then back again, as it suited us. He died when 
he was about seventy at Chaythoos, and they put his body in a little house of glass" (see W.A. Grafton, 
volume 3) "with red blankets on top, the way they used to do — they don't do it now — and buried him there 
at Chaythoos. Then when they cut the driveway around Stanley Park our house was in the way, and we 
moved over to Snauq. Father's remains were exhumed and taken to Squamish for reinterment." (See 
earlier in this volume for location of grave.) 

"My mother, Qwhay-wat, or Sally, was born at Yekwaupsum, Squamish River, and died at Snauq about 
1 906, and is now buried at Yekwaupsum graves. After my father died, she remarried. 

"My step-father was Jericho Charlie. He used to work for Jerry Rogers out at Jericho, he had a big canoe, 
would carry a ton or more, and I remember how he used to go from the old Hastings Sawmill to Jericho 
with it loaded with hay and oats for the horses and oxen working at Jerry Rogers' logging camp there. 

"My wife's name is Swanamia; she is the only one left now who wears a shawl; all the rest of the Indian 
women have now taken to coats. Her English name is Mary Anne. Our children are Wilfred William and 
Louise." (Note: Indian Affairs office says Mary Anne, 51 ; August Jack, 54; Wilfred William, adopted son, 
22; and Louise, 12 years, all in 1932.) "I had three sisters and a brother. Louisa, the eldest child, then 
Cecile, Agnes, Willie, all dead, and myself the youngest — I am 56. They left no children; I am the only one 
left. I had no schooling, cannot read or write — I wish I could, but Mother was a widow, and I had to look 
after her until she married Jericho Charlie. 

"I have heard my step-father, Jericho Charlie, tell about the first whiteman the Indians ever saw." (Note: 
see narrative, 26 October 1932.) "Jericho Charlie was a very old man, about seventy I should think, when 
he fell off the Kitsilano" (C.P.R.) "trestle bridge about thirty years ago, so that his memory would take him 
back to about 1 840. The old people used to talk a great deal about the coming of the whiteman, but I did 
not pay the attention I should have. Of one thing I am quite sure, that there were white men up at 
Squamish before Mr. Vancouver came to English Bay. 

"After my father died, we moved to Snauq, and it was from there that I saw Vancouver burn in June 1 886; 
afterwards, as a boy, I used to go over and search in the ruins for nails. When we went to Gastown, we 
went by canoe down by the Royal City Planing Mills at the south end of Carrall Street and across over to 
Burrard Inlet on a sort of wagon trail. There was no trail which I know of from Smamchuze at the foot of 
Howe Street across through the forest to Gastown; what would be the use of struggling through the bush 
when it was so easy to paddle?" (Note: generally speaking, the Indian would never walk if he could go by 

"The name I go by is August Jack; that is, August, son of Supplejack, but according to the whitemans 
usage, I should be August Haatsalanough; anyway, I have assumed that name; sometimes I sign my 
name Kitsilano, sometimes Haatsalano. 

"The Squamish Indians could not understand the language of the Sechelts, but could make themselves 
understood, but not converse properly. Then again, the Indians up at Powell River spoke another 
language to the Sechelts. The name by which the Squamish knew the Capilano River was Humultcheson; 
it was the whiteman who gave it the name Capilano. The 'Old Chief was Capilano, then came his son, 
Chief Lah-wa, drowned in the First Narrows. Chief Lah-wa's sister was Chief Tom's wife, and she wanted 
Joe to be chief. At first, Joe got the cognomen of Capilano Joe, then Joe Capilano. Chief Matthias 
Capilano is Chief Joe's son, but he is officially called Matthias Joe." 


"The Indians moved away from Snauq in 1911," (The last Indian departed 11 April 1913, "Old Man Jim," 
wife and son. JSM) "and the remains of those buried in the graveyard on the reserve close to First 
Avenue about the foot of Fir or Cedar Street were exhumed and taken for reburial at Squamish. The 
orchard went to ruin, the fences fell down, and the houses were destroyed; a few hops survived and 
continued to grow until the building of the Burrard Bridge covered them up. I received a formal invitation 
to be present at the opening of the great bridge as a guest of the city." 

Chulks — Kew Beach, West Vancouver. Conversation with August Kitsilano, 20 
December 1932. 

"This is the way it is about the big boulder at Chulks. There is a point there, and on the south side, facing 
south, is a big hole in the rock, and a big stone about five or six feet in diameter in the hole. When the 
Gods were fixing the geography of the earth, they threw this stone at the top of Mount Garibaldi, that is 
Chy-kai. Chy-kai is the mountain; Che-kai is the creek. The stone missed the mountain and landed at 
Chulks, and is there yet for you to see. Squamish Indians were very powerful. 

"One of the Gods put the boulder in a sling, and then swung the sling around and around his head to work 
up speed and force; somehow the sling as it flew around touched something — some say a raven's wing, 
others that a slave got in the way of the thrower — touched his arm, spoiled his aim, and the big stone 
missed the mountain, and now you see it in the crevasse, a big stone five or six feet in diameter in the 
crevasse facing due south at Chulks. That shows you what power the Squamish Indians had in those 
days; that's power." 

Do you believe it? I asked, smiling, and expecting that he would return the smile, but to my surprise and 
regret at having smiled, he replied most earnestly and vigorously: 

"Of course, I believe it; I tell you, it's true. To show you: in the early days, they once cut a man open, split 
him down the middle from the top of his head, front to back, all the way down, so that he was open right 
through, and then they put him in the fire and roast him; the grease run out. Then the eight powerful men 
start to work to fix him up again. Squamish Indians were very powerful once; could do anything." 

Are they the same eight as those who came before the Indians and were turned into stone at Homulson? 
I asked. 

"No," replied August, "that's a different lot; not the same men. These powerful men of whom I speak were 
Squamish. Well, they sew him up, and after a little while, after they work on him, he get up and walk. 

"These eight men were just like other men, only very much power. They live just like wild, only they were 
not wild. They go up in the mountains, stay in the mountains ten years, wash themselves, wash 
themselves, good and clean. Then they get power, power to do anything." (See Hill-Tout, Report, 
B.A.A.S., 1 900 and 1 902.) "Then, after they fix him up, they say to the man, 'See that sawbill? You run 
race with that sawbill.' Sawbill duck fly very fast, but the man they fix up run a race with that sawbill, and 
he won the race; that will show you how powerful those Squamish Indians were in those early days. 

"When I was twelve years old, I see the last two of these eight powerful men at Jericho — all the rest dead; 
the two very old — catching smelts there. My mother Qwhay-wat, she show them to me, and tell me they 
were the only two living of the eight powerful men. When I was a child, my mother marry again; marry 
Jericho Charlie, his Indian name Chin-ow-sut. Chin-ow-sut come from twenty-five miles up the Squamish 
River; his father was the greatest hunter in the Squamish. He killed the biggest grizzly with bow and 

Comment: it was very strange to hear August Kitsilano, a splendid manly Indian full of worldly wisdom, 
energy and integrity in ordinary affairs, credited with sound judgment by those who know him, and well 
able to and does manage the difficulties of his logging business, getting logs out of the woods, down the 
river, a resourceful man highly regarded by the Indian agent, Mr. Ball, for his worth. August is a mild 
mannered man, with a pleasant smile when he smiles, and dignified when he does not. He used the 
telephone, has a rough idea of banking, log scale sheets, etc., but never learned to write or read. He once 
said to me a wisdom. It was, "Those young fellows never begin to think until the meeting has started; I lie 
in bed and plan the whole thing out before I get there." 


Yet, here he sat and solemnly told me that he believed the above story, and even related it with such 
earnestness that it was almost convincing to the listener. Respect for his sincerity forbade further 

Conversation with Rev. CM. Tate, 26 November 1932, as he lay in his bed 


Mr. Tate is probably the foremost Indian linguist of today, and was an Indian missionary who knew all the 
coast, and up as far as Yale, in the seventies, eighties and nineties. He listened as I read the foregoing 
page. Then I remarked, Do you believe in Jack and the Beanstalk? 

Mr. Tate's reply was a smile, a nod of the head, and the laconic, "Suppose we'll have to." Then I added 
quizzingly, And the biblical story of the five loaves and the little fishes with which Christ fed the multitude? 
Again he nodded. Then how can we point the finger of scorn and ridicule at the Indians? 

Mr. Tate replied, "Well, cannot you see the stone at Chulks; doesn't that prove it? You know that Mount 
Baker in the state of Washington is the 'Mother of All Indians,' don't you? Well, Lot's wife was turned into 
a pillar of salt; what's unreasonable about the Mother of All Indians being turned into a mountain of snow, 
or Siwash Rock being made from an Indian fisherman? 

"Why, I remember," he continued, "one story they told me up at Bella Bella years ago. They told me all 
about the flood, the great flood which enveloped the earth; that the water was coming up and up, and the 
people went up the mountain to escape it, but the water kept on coming and coming, until they were in 
fear that it would soon cover the top. So they cried out, and the people who had gone to a higher 
mountain heard their cries, broke off the top of the higher mountain, and threw it across to them and 
saved their lives. Of course, the top broken off landed on top of the smaller mountain, just exactly where it 
was wanted to fall, and that was twelve miles away. They told me that in all seriousness; the mountain is 
there yet, top of it and all, just as it was thrown across." 

And then the Rev. Mr. Tate smiled again. 

August Kitsilano, or Haatsalahno. 

Andrew Paull (Qoitchetahl), secretary of the Squamish Indian Council, having told me that he was a direct 
descendant of the celebrated hero of the Squamish tribe, Qoitchetahl, the serpent slayer of Squamish — 
Haxten, an aged Indian woman, says Andrew Paull is the grandson of the great-granddaughter of the 
original Qoitchetahl — I asked August Kitsilano, grandson of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough, to give me his 
conception of the legend. He said, 19 December 1932: 

"This is the way it was: 

"Qoitchetahl just a man, he just get married, then a serpent come in the lake way up above Squamish. 
Old peoples say to Qoitchetahl, 'You go chase that serpent; don't stay at home asleep with your wife.' So 
Qoitchetahl he get up, and tell his wife he be away ten days and not to worry; but he go away ten years. 
Well, when he was going on the way, was following the serpent, he wash, wash, wash himself all the 
time, take bath in the creeks in the mountains, get power. He gets that power, and the serpent was in the 
lake swimming about, and then the serpent came to the Indian man. Of course, they talk together, the 
serpent and the man Qoitchetahl, and the serpent said, 'Go get pitch wood, and drive it into my head, one 
stick; get three sticks, make sharp, drive one in my head right here, the other one in the middle of my 
back, and the other one at the end of my dragon tail.' You know, serpents have two heads, one at each 
end; the one in front is his head, the other is near the tail, and is a dragon's head. I see one once, little 
fellow, 'bout five feet long; two heads, one in front and one in tail. 

"Well, Qoitchetahl did as the serpent told him. Serpent die. Qoitchetahl stay there until serpent all rotten. 
Then he took a bone, just one special bone, like a club, and he took it down with him out of the 
mountains. When he comes to the head of the Squamish River, he pulls out that bone, out of his pocket, 
and he waves it in the air. All the peoples, everybody, just drop, just like dead, but he has stuff which he 
sprinkle on them, and they all come up again. When the peoples come up, they give him a wife, and by 
time he gets back to Squamish he had eighteen wives. Everywhere he goes, the people fall down just like 


dead, and he bring them back to life again; his real wife, he just let her die; he had eighteen other wives 
with him." 

Then my friend August Jack said, "I must be off; I've got to see the manager of the sawmill at Eburne 
about my log scale sheets. Would you mind telephoning him I shall be late keeping my appointment?" 

How can one reconcile the assertion of this hard-headed business man, this splendid Indian man, that he 
had seen a "little serpent" of the kind Qoitchetahl gets credit for having killed? I did not ask him where he 
had seen it. I asked him a similar question once, and do not care to do it again — his retort was too 

Chief Chip-kaay-am (Chief George of Snauq). 

"Statement made 7 July 1932 to F.J.C. Ball, Indian Agent, at request Major J. S. Matthews, by August 
Jack (or Supplejack) at Mr. Ball's office, 837 Hastings Street, and taken down as narrated. (Copy.) 

"August Jack says Chief Chip-kay-m, or Chief George, was first chief to make a home at Hat-sa-lah-no, 
he and his brother-in-law, Chief Andrews' father. They built canoes there and dried smelts and made 
traps on the sandbar (Granville Island) for flounders, perch, etc. They built a big house there, a great 
potlatch house. Before that, the Musqueam Indians occasionally went there to fish, but never established 
residence of any kind. Chief (George) Chip-kay-m came from the far end of Squamish River to settle 
where the Kitsilano Reserve is now. They lived there all the time except when up Squamish drying 
salmon in summer. Chief George had one daughter who married John Beatty, a white man; she had one 
daughter. Chief George had no son. 

"August Jack's grandfather and Chief George were brothers, and August Jack's people lived in Stanley 
Park. August Jack's grandfather's name was Haat sa lah no, he had no English name as his brother 
George had. Haat sa lah no had a son named Supplejack who married Sally from Ykhopsim 
(Yekwaupsum) Reserve, Squamish River, and August Jack is their son. Other children were Louisa, Willie 
Jack, Cecile, Agnes, August." 

Chief Lah-wa. 

"Chief Lah-wa came from Capilano where he was chief. Lah-wa was drowned off Brockton Point; he left 
no sons. Chief Joe Capilano was put on as chief after Lah-wa's death, but was not a near relative; the 
tribe intermarried, and they were all distantly related to each other, but were not cousins, or even second 
cousins. Lah-wa's predecessor was called Chief Capilano, after his death Lah-wa, who was Capilano's 
son-in-law" (?) (see Genealogy of Capilano) "became chief. Capilano's name was Joe, and after he was 
made chief he took the name of Capilano Joe." 

(signed) "Frederick J. C. Ball, Indian Agent" 

Food supply in Indian days. 

Dick Isaacs (Que-yah-chulk), Indian, North Vancouver Reserve, 7 November 1932. He is aged 70 or 75. 

"Oh, lots food those days; walk right up to bear and deer and shoot, him fall down, no scared. No noise 
then, he never hear gun. Now him hear gun, get scared, run away; those days very quiet, stand still. 
Indian just walk right up with bow and arrow; shoot, just like walk up tame cow. Shoot duck just same. 
Indian very good with bow and arrow." 

Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks) born at Skwa-yoos (Kitsilano Beach) about 1870. 

"Plenty of mowich" (food) "here those days." 




Tried Desperately to Save 

Husband and Friend 

From Drowning. 


Bodies of Two Victims Not 
Yet Recovered In 
Puntzi Lake. /43>3> 

WILLIAMS LAKE, July 3.— Signal 
heroism la the lace of almost certain 
death was shown by Mrs. Marshall, 
only survivor of the Ill-fated boat 
sailing party on Puntzi Lake, 125 
miles west of here, which claimed the 
lives or her husband, Alex, Marshall 
arid Edmund Hutton. It Is believed 
that Mrs. Marshall, who Is recovering 
from her terrible ordeal, will be deco- 
rated for her bravery. 

When the boat upset in a heavy 
gale, she held her husband afloat for 
two hours before he died and con- 
tinued to hold him long afterward. 
It was only when she saw Mr. Hutton 
collapsing that she let her dead hus- 
band go. 

She managed to grasp Hutton and 
keep him afloat only a few minutes 
when a heavy wave dashed her 
against the boat and she lost her 
hold of him and the boat. How she 
managed to regain her hold she does 
not know, but she never saw the two 
men again. Several hours later the 
boat drifted ashore with her. 

In describing the tragedy, Mrs. Mar- 
shall said: "When I found myself 
alone, clinging to the boat in the 
storm, I cried to God to help me, 
especially for the sake of my little 
P am tee." Pamlee is her 8 -year -old 
daughter, her only child. Mrs. Mar- 
shall believes she was superrrumanly 
aided. "We should not have gone 
that day," she said. 

All efforts have failed to locate the 
bodies, although twelve men have 
been working from 3 a.m. until night- 
fall with the aid of four motorboats. 

The lake at the point where thei 
two men disappeared is very deep and] 
strewn with boulders. One of the] 
boat crews brought up a pair of elkj 
horns from the depths, and as elkl 
disappeared from that district longj 

;o th<* horns must be of great age.) 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_013 


Wild animals. Elk. Early disappearance of elk. 

Add to Early Vancouver, Vol. 2, see Elk; also see Early Vancouver, Vol. 1 . 

District of Kitsilano. Khaytulk, son of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough. 

See Early Vancouver, Vol. 2. 

Copy of letter from Qoitchetahl (Andrew Paull). 

North Vancouver, 26 June 1933 

Dear Major [Matthews] 


The above is right [spelling of Indian name for Supplejack, son of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough.] 

Re the elk — they used to hang around the flats at the head of False Creek. The Indians killed a 
lot, and sold the meat by the canoe load to the whites in early days. See my narrative of Kitsilano 
moving from Point Roberts to Snauq [False Creek] in your story in the Province [12 March 1933.] 
There was a great demand, which depleted them, and I suppose perhaps, too, they migrated to 
less molested pastures. 

Yours, Qoitchetahl 

From the narratives of Pittendrigh, Rowling and Hunt, see pages numbered as above, all of whom speak 
of finding elk remains, but who never saw a live elk near the Burrard Peninsula — the two former coming 
here about 1 870 — it would seem that elk were formerly fairly numerous about the lower Fraser River, 
probably formed a staple article of Indian diet, and that the cause of their disappearance so many years 
ago was probably due to the fact that the whitemen who first arrived craved meat, and, being without 
beef, mutton, etc., encouraged the Indians to bring in elk meat to such an extent that the muskegs and 
natural grass prairies were soon depleted of them. 

J.S.M. 1933 


Khaytulk, whose English name was Supplejack, and whose grave was at Chaythoos (Prospect Point), 
Stanley Park, and well remembered by the earliest settlers on Burrard Inlet as a big, "long" Indian, was 
the son of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough, after whom Kitsilano is named, and father of August Jack Haatsa- 
lano, now a resident of Capilano River with his wife Swanamia, son and daughter. 

J.S.M. 1933 


The Times 

Printing House Square, E.C.4. 
i|k from issue <&&&; 1 5 M4R '~~ 


You published on March 13 an illustration 
of a very interesting Totem from the West 
Coast of British Columbia. But why is it 
described as the work of " Siwash " Indians ? 
During my residence among these Indians I 
was never able to locate any tribe known offi- 
cially by this name. On the contrary, if a 
Coast Indian was called a " Siwash " he re- 
sented it as much as any other coloured person ; 
would resent being called a " nigger.'* There 
would appear to be an almost exact parallel 
between the two expressions. " Siwash " is 
often used by white men on the West Coast 
(frequently contemptuously), but never by 
Indians themselves. Hence it is difficult to 
understand why it is sometimes used by scienti- 
fic writers in England. Your article states that 
this particular Totem came from " the 
northern part of Vancouver Island." The 
Indians who inhabit these parts are sub-tribes 
of the once-powerful Kwaguiti (or 
Kwawkewlth) Confederacy. If we could know 
the exact place from which the Totem came it 
would be possible to name the tribe. There is 
one other interesting feature about it. The 
Kwaguitls usually carve the Thunder Bird with 
wings outspread. Folded wings are usual 
among the tribes farther north. — The Rev. 
F. S. Spackman, Vicar of Marple, Cheshire: 
formerly Principal of the Indian Residential 
Schools, Alert Bay, B.C. \ 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_014 


Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks). Conversation with Jim Franks, 20 November 1932. 

"My father was Chil-lah-minst; come down here, Skwayoos, from Squamish with people get smelts, 'bout 
this time, fall, lots smelts here Skwayoos. My father have little hut down at corner, foot of Yew Street, by 
bathhouse, where beach turn. Squamish people come down here to get food, go back Squamish for 

"I was born at Skwayoos, right here, down by the corner there, foot yew Street, where the beach turns 
west, by the bathhouse." 

Jim Franks ought to be about 62 or 64, as he says he was working in the Hastings Sawmill the day of the 
Fire (1 3 June 1 886), and he was about 1 6 years old then. He says he remembers August Jack Kitsilano 
(August's mother is Jim's sister) who is his nephew, "as a little boy." August Jack is 54 or 56, so that it is 
likely that Chil-lah-minst was born on Kitsilano Beach about, approximately, 1 870. He was selling baskets 
when he called this afternoon, and we had a cup of tea together in the kitchen. He is a fine old Indian 
gentleman; queer, perhaps, to whiteman's way of doing things, but with a very sound conception of the 
fundamentals of life. 

"Siwash Rock was once an Indian man. I think one man make the world, but some people say three men. 
They go out sturgeon bank, out Point Grey; they wash themselves, wash themselves, wash themselves, 
make themselves very clean, keep themselves very clean; they get very powerful. Then the three great 
men go all around the world making it. If they find poor people, they give them stuff so they no more poor, 
teach them how to do things better, show them how to get food, but if they find people too smart, too 
clever, they say, 'you go to hell, we not trouble about you.' That's how Siwash Rock came to be where he 
is; he too smart, three great men turn him into rock, so people see not much good to be too smart." 

Jim said he would like another cup of tea. 

"I'm Indian, me Indian, not Siwash. My face to the front, my body behind. I may have black face, but it in 
the front. When I die, what inside me," (here he pressed his chest with his right hand) "I think go to my 
son, maybe to my grandchild." (What Jim was trying to convey was that he was not two-faced, but honest, 
sincere, upright.) "Priests supposed to protect Indians, but government do what priest say. Priest 
government." (Priests are the government.) "Government lease land, Indian land, but Indian not get lease 
money. Once I young, strong, work Hastings Sawmill, two and one half years; work on carriage, good 
man; then I work Fader Bros, sawmill" (on False Creek at north end of Granville Street, where Robertson 
and Hackett sawmill now) "but now I get old, have no money, have to sell basket. When whitemans call 
me Siwash I say, 'Go to hell.'" (See clipping, above.) 

"Smamchuze," he said, in referring to a little bay at the foot of Howe Street on False Creek — see old 
maps — "I think once be a little island, one time. Indian put dead man there; little island of sand, water 
come all 'round, maybe two or three crab apple trees on top where water never come; always dry. Indians 
put dead man there so wolf not get him. Indians always put deadmans on island so wolf not get him." 
(August Kitsilano says, "Smamchuze: a little graveyard on an island with perhaps a bit of grass on top dry 
part; tide wash grass, graves and island away.") 

Further conversation with Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks), 10 December 1932. 

"My grandfather Chillahminst too. My father Chil-lah-minst make canoe all his life, he make canoe several 
places; one place Skwayoos, down foot Yew Street on beach; make canoe all his life, just canoe, his 
trade; when I get old I be Chil-lah-minst, I do work, take my father's name, just same you do. One time 
long ago, logger take out fir tree only; logger not much use cedar — leave cedar — but logging road make 
easy for Indian to get cedar tree out for canoe to Skwayoos. My father all time chisel, chisel, chisel, big 
round stone in hand for hammer, make canoe, then burn him out pitch. 

"First I was Jim, then when I get married, priest give me name Franks. 

"Chief Chip-kaay-am of Snauq very good, very good man, very kind, very good; that's why him family 
make him chief." (See Rev. CM. Tate's pleasant recollections of "Old Chief George" — Chip-kaay-am.) 


I asked Chillahminst about the Indians Swillamcan, Kanachuck and Mrs. Salpcan, who sold their 
"improvements" at Greer's Beach to Sam Greer. (See The Fight for Kitsilano Beach.) 

"Will-ahm-can was Chief Jimmy Jimmy's father. Kanachuck, not sure, but I think brother to Chief Chip- 
kaay-am of Snauq; maybe Mrs. Salpcan was his wife, don't know. We leave Skwayoos, go Hastings Mill 
to work; peoples at Snauq sell 'improvements' to Greer. 

"Jericho Charlie my uncle; Frank Charlie" (Ayatak) "of Musqueam my cousin. Jericho Charlie die long time 
ago; fell off C.P.R. bridge cross False Creek; he live Jericho, just by slough, on bar in front of slough; 
Jerry Roger's camp there. May be Jericho Charlie have place Skwayoos; don't know." (August Kitsilano 
says, "Yes, he did.") "Frank Charlie live Musqueam now; old man. Frank Charlie is same as Capilano; his 
name Capilano too. Indian come down Squamish, marry Musqueam woman; by and by Musqueam give 
Squamish man place to live down by Mahly, by beach, Musqueam up by slough, Mahly down by sea, way 
down. Old Man Capilano live Mahly too. 

"Old Man Capilano, I just remember him; very old man when I see him. I was about 20 or 21 when 
Vancouver burn; must be about 67 or 70 now. Old Man Capilano died long ago, don't know when. Lah-wa 
come next, but he drink too much booze, fall out of canoe in First Narrows. Priests say too much booze 
must stop; Joe good Catholic; priest say Joe to be chief, to get Indians to come to church. Joe some 
relation Chief Lah-wa. 

"I had fourteen children; all die. Some live two three months, then die, cough up blood; my wife sick." 

Assuming that Chillahminst (Jim Franks) was born in his father's hut on Kitsilano Beach about 1 870 or 
earlier, as he claims to be older than 62, then this bears out Mrs. J.Z. Hall's (nee Greer) statement that 
there had been several houses located on the site of her father's pioneer cottage prior to the one burned 
down by the Canadian Pacific Railway officials. Sam Greer bought the Indian "improvements" (see Fight 
for Kitsilano Beach) some time on or before November 1884. Robert Preston of New Westminster was 
interested in the preemption of the property in October 1871 , and Samuel Preston preempted it in April 
1 873. As recently as early years of 20* Century, even as late as 1 91 8, smelts could be raked ashore at 
Kitsilano Beach. (See Early Vancouver, Matthews.) 

The spelling of Capilano. 

Kleoplannah: in a letter to the Colonial government at Victoria, February 1860, A.J. Julius Voight, pioneer, 
1858, educated Prussian, spells it "Chief Kleoplannah." Voight afterwards preempted land on False Creek 
at the foot of Mount Pleasant. 

Ki-ap-a-la-no: Captain Richards, R.N., of H. M.S. Plumper, in a letter to Governor Douglas in 1859, spells 
it Ki-ap-a-la-no. 

The name Capilano. 

Hill-Tout says, "The Skqomic at that time had a courageous and resourceful leader in their head chief 
Kiapilanoq." Ethnological Survey of Canada, B.A.A.S., Bradford meeting, 1900, page 490. 

"The supreme Siam of the tribe was known by the title Te Kiapilanoq, and had his headquarters at the 
mouth of the Homultcison Creek now called Capilano by the whites." Same report, page 476. 

Andrew Paull and Chief Matthias Capilano contradict. (See below.) 

Hill-Tout, 1932: "Pronounce it Kee-yapee-lah-nogh." 

Tate, 1932, "Pronounce it Kype-al-lah-nough." 

On an old linen map marked "Plan No. 1, Skwawmish Indian Reserve, surveyed by W.S. Jemmett, 1880," 
the word Capilano is spelled "Kahpillahno." 

Frank Charlie (Ayatak) of Musqueam: "Capilano a Musqueam name, not a Squamish name. Squamish 
people not belong English Bay or Burrard Inlet. Squamish people belong Howe Sound, way over 
mountains" (West Vancouver.) "Squamish not belong North Vancouver; just camp there; whitemans bring 


them to work in Hastings Sawmill. Before that they just come from Squamish to English Bay to get food. 
All English Bay belong Musqueam. 'Old Chief Capilano my grandfather live Mahly, sometimes stay 
Homulcheson" (Capilano River.) "'Old Chief Capilano tell me he see first white man come down Fraser 
River, just one man, come down river from east; he big boy then, 'bout five feet. 'Old Chief Capilano live 
to be 'bout one hundred, then die. 'Old Chief first home at Mahly; then he marry Musqueam; afterwards 
he go to Homultcheson to live. All Ulksen belong to Musqueam, not Squamish," concluded Ayatak, with 

Andrew Paull: "Frank Charlie" (Ayatak) "of Musqueam is quite entitled to use the surname Capilano. The 
Capilanos of Capilano and Frank Charlie both acknowledge descent from the same blood." 

Frank Charlie: "My name Capilano too; my grandchildren Capilano. Indian come down from Squamish, 
marry Musqueam woman, by and by Musqueam give Squamish man place to live down by Mahly, by 
beach; Musqueam up by slough, Mahly down by sea, way down. 'Old Chief Capilano father of Chief 
Lahwa of Capilano; Chief Lahwa my uncle; he die, no son." 

Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks): "Old Man Capilano, I just remember him; very old man when I see him. I was 
about 20 or 21 when Vancouver burn; must be about 67 or 70 now. Old Man Capilano died long ago, 
don't know when. Lah-wa come next, but he drink too much booze, fall out of canoe in First Narrows. 
Priests say too much booze must stop; Joe good Catholic; priest say Joe to be chief, to get Indians to 
come to church." 

Chief Matthias Capilano, 1 933: "Old Chief Capilano was stone blind when he died. The 'Old Chief was 
fighting before the white man came; his last fight against the northern Indians was with guns. Chief Lah- 
wa died in 1 895; I think he had been chief about twenty years." 

Rev. CM. Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary: "Lah-wa was chief when I came in 1875; I never knew Old 
Chief Capilano." 

The Chief Capilano, the first one personally known to white men of which there is a record, would seem to 
have been born (see Ayatak, his grandson) at Mahly, and to have told Ayatak that when he was "a big 
boy" he had seen the first white man, Fraser, come down the Fraser River. He is reputed to have been a 
warrior, orator and statesman, to have been very old — some say one hundred — when he died, stone blind 
then, and to have been succeeded by one of his many children, Lah-wa. (See "Genealogy of Capilano" 
now being prepared.) 

[JSM's note on following two paragraphs:] Delete all nonsense. 

Chief Lah-wa, according to most accounts, died childless; his children predeceased him. He was 
baptized and married in the little Indian (Methodist) Church on the shore of Water Street; he was 
drowned in the First Narrows, and is buried at North Vancouver. He was succeeded by Joe. 

Joseph married Agnes, commonly called Mrs. Mary Capilano, born about 1838 and still living, 
1933 — she saw New Westminster before the first house was built there. Her Indian name is 
Layhu-lette; [she] is a daughter of Kah-kail-tun, son of Pat-sa-mauq, half brother of "Old Chief 
Capilano, who were both the sons of Sclapchp-ten, who had five wives and — so it is said — over 
one hundred children. He (Joseph) was succeeded in 1910 by Chief Matthias Joe, commonly 
called Chief Matthias Capilano. 

Andrew Paull says, "Joe was formally given the name Capilano by the Squamish at a ceremony on the 
Cambie Street grounds just prior to proceeding to England to lay before H.M. the late King Edward the 
matter of the Indian Land grievances. It was considered that it would give him additional prestige if he 
bore the name of the land, or reserve, of which he was chief." 

Prior to this, custom had given him the sobriquet of "Capilano Joe." (See August Kitsilano's statement to 
Indian Agent Ball.) Rev. CM. Tate adds, "given him by whites and Indians alike." Ultimately, he became 
known as Chief Joe Capilano, and this surname has been assumed by his relict, Agnes, usually called 
Mrs. Mary Capilano, and by his son Chief Matthias Joe, commonly called Chief Matthias Capilano. 

In connection with the visit of Chief Joe Capilano to Buckingham Palace (in 1 906 or 1 907) the story is told 
that, during the audience with His Majesty, Joe said to the King, 


"Then, there is another matter I wish to enquire about. My people sometimes do wrong, policemen fine 
them, policemen say they do it for you, that you want the money. What I want to know is, 'Do you want 
the money?'" 

King Edward is reported to have replied very graciously, "Yes, I do, and thank you very much." 

Hill-Tout says that there was a "supreme Siam" (chief) known as Te Kiapilanoq and "next in rank" Te 
Qatsilanoq (Kitsilano). See Ethnological Survey of Canada, B.A.A.S., 1900. 

Paull says, "No; all chiefs equal; there are now ten chiefs of the Squamish tribe; there is supposed to be 
twelve. I am secretary of the Council. Chief Matthias Joe is one of the chiefs, but holds no higher rank 
than others, nor have I ever heard that formerly it was otherwise. On their own reserves, rather, in their 
own precincts, all chiefs were supreme." 

August Kitsilano, 8 August 1932: "No. They did not make one man the big chief. All were equal and ruled 
over their own reserves only. You see, coming down the Squamish River there are four reserves; each 
one had its own chief. They did not make any one bigger than the other." 

Chief Matthias Capilano, 19 January 1933: "'Old Chief Capilano was stone blind before he died. He was 
a fighting warrior who had fought with both bows and arrows and with guns; his last fight was with guns. 

"'Old Chief Capilano's mother was a Musqueam Indian, sister to Chief Semelano." (See page 490, Hill- 
Tout, Ethnological Survey of Canada, 1900, B.A.A.S.) "His father was Sclapchp-ten who had five wives 
and, so they say, over one hundred children. 

"Payt-sa-mauq was a half brother to 'Old Chief Capilano, and was full Squamish. 'Old Chief Capilano 
was only half Squamish for his mother was sister to Chief Semelano, a Musqueam. 'Old Chief Capilano 
married a Squamish woman from Chuckchuck. 

"One of Paytsamauq's sons was Kahkailtun, and his wife came from Nicomen; they were the parents of 
Agnes, my mother, wife, of course, of my father Chief Joseph Capilano, and now of course, his widow, 
and more commonly known as Mrs. Mary Capilano. Her Indian name is Layhu-lette. I think she is now 
about 95, so that I estimate that my father, Chief Joe Capilano, who died in 1910 when I — at the age of 
23 — succeeded him; must have been about 70 or 75 when he died. 

Andrew Paull, secretary of the Squamish Indian Council of Chiefs, says that a Mr. Rhodes, grandfather of 
the famous runner Percy Williams, told him that the name "Capilano" was of Spanish origin. 

According to Mrs. Rhodes, his wife, Mr. Rhodes was not a Spaniard, but the son of a large English ship 
owner trading to Spain, and that her husband lived for several years at Alacante, Spain, acting as 
interpreter for his father's business. She said, "I have heard him say that Capilano is derived from 
Capelin" (spelling doubtful), "the Spanish word for a small fish of the smelt species." 

Paull says Mr. Rhodes told him that when the Spanish explorers of 1 792 anchored in Spanish Banks, 
English Bay, they sent ashore daily for water, and on such occasions were presented with a supply of 
smelts by the Indians, and that neither being able to understand the other's language, the Indians 
mistook, or mixed up, "the smelts" and "the chief man" who presented them. 

Andrew Paull: "Very doubtful story." 

Professor Hill-Tout: "Impossible. There is Khates-ee-lan-ogh, Kee-ap-ee-lan-ogh, and Ka-lan-ogh, the 
latter meaning 'the first man.' And we have Thit-see-mah-lan-ogh and Semelano. And Nanaimo and 

If there is a legend associated with Capilano, as there is with Haatsalahnough, then, so far, it has not 
been told to me. JSM 

Paull: "Chief Matthias Joe is not really entitled to be called Chief Matthias Capilano; the 'Capilano' is 
assumed only, but generally is accepted by all. The Indian Affairs office calls him Chief Matthias Joe. The 
appellation 'Capilano' was bestowed by the Indians on Chief Joe Capilano, his father, but it is not 
hereditary — only so far as custom has made it so." 


Capilano Reserve. 

On an old linen drawing — an original — marked "Plan No. 1 , Skwawmish Indian Reserves," with a footnote, 
"surveyed by W.S. Jemmett, 1880," in the possession of Andrew Paull, who says "the Indian Affairs Office 
have been unable to find a copy of it in their possession," the word is spelled "Kahpillahno." The map 
shows "Beaver dams" in West Vancouver, and old trails in Gastown and Kitsilano Beach. 

Corporal Turner's original field notes of the survey of Burrard's Inlet in February and March 1 863 are in 
the Court House, Vancouver. They show "Coal Peninsula" (Stanley Park) and the "Brickmaker's Claim" 
(West End) and are complete in detail. He surveyed the mouth of Homulcheson Creek (Capilano River) 
but does not name it, although he places a square to indicate a house or settlement. 

"I have always understood," writes Noel Robinson, editor of the Vancouver newspaper Star, and a close 
friend of the Capilano family, "from Mrs. Mary Capilano or her son Chief Matthias, that Mrs. Capilano was 
directly descended from the brother of that first Chief Capilano of whom we know — the one who met 
Captain Vancouver — and that she married Chief Joe, who was not then chief of the Squamish, but a very 
prominent and leading Indian of the tribe, and that, as you indicate, he then took the name 'Capilano.' 

"Chief Matthias is quite clear about this." 

The answer to this is that Chief Joe never was chief of the Squamish tribe, but was chief of the Capilano 
band of the Squamish tribe. There is not, and apparently never was, a "chief of the Squamish tribe." As to 
his meeting Captain Vancouver in 1792, and assuming that he died in 1875 — this needs investigation — 
and that he was 100 years old when he died, then, having been born in 1775, he could not possibly have 
been chief when Captain Vancouver arrived in 1792, seventeen years later. "Old Chief" Capilano is 
remembered by several Indians now living whose ages cannot be over 80, and more likely about 70. 

Further, Ayatak says the "Old Chief" told him that he was "a big boy, 'bout five feet high" when Fraser 
came down the river in 1 808. Further, what would he be doing at Whoi-Whoi or Capilano River 
(Homulcheson) in 1792; he was born in Mahly, according to Ayatak. 


Conversation with Andrew Paull, secretary, Squamish Indian Council since 1 91 1 and still, 1 933, acting, 
North Vancouver, 15 December 1932. 

The arrival of Captain Vancouver. 

It was the duty of the more responsible Indians," said Mr. Qoitchetahl, "to see that the history and 
traditions of our race were properly handed down to posterity; a knowledge of our history and legends 
was of similar importance as an education is regarded today among whitemen; those who possessed it 
were regarded as aristocrats; those who were indifferent, whether adults or children, were rascals. Being 
without means of transmitting it into writing, much time was spent by the aristocrats in imparting this 
knowledge to the youth; it was the responsible duty of responsible elders. 

"When I was a youth, my father took me fishing with him. I was young and strong, and pulled the canoe 
while he fished, and as we passed along the shore — you know progress when one is rowing is very 
slow — it gave him ample time as we passed a given point for him to explain to me all about the various 
matters of interest of that location, which it was his delight to do. It was in this manner that the history of 
our people was preserved in the past; it was a duty for elders to attend to equally as important as the 
schooling of our children is today. Then again, in 1920, all was arranged for me to go to Ottawa to impart 
some historical information to some historical department there — I never went — but in preparation for it I 
went especially to Squamish to see the daughter of the 'real' 'Old Chief Capilano, a sister to Frank 
Charlie, or Ayatak Capilano" (Ayatak) "of Musqueam." 

Note: some mistake here; must mean granddaughter. Frank Charlie is grandson. 

"It seems that it was a tradition among the Indians of early days that a calamity of some sort would befall 
them every seven years; once it was a flood, on another occasion a disease wiped out Whoi-Whoi, again 
it was a snow storm which lasted for three months. The wise men had long prophesied a visitation from a 


great people, from a very powerful body of men. Captain Vancouver came in 1 792, a year which 
coincided with the seventh year, the year in which some calamity was expected, regarding the form of 
which there was much trepidation, so that when strange men of strange appearance, white, with their odd 
boats, etc., etc., arrived on the scene, the wise men said, 'this may be the fateful visitation, what may it 
bring us,' and took steps to propitiate the all-powerful visitors. 

"It was the custom among Indians to decorate or ornament the interior of festival or potlatch houses with 
white feathers on festive occasions and ceremonials. The softer outside feathers from beneath the 
coarser outside covering of waterfowl were saved, and these white eiderdown feathers were thrown and 
scattered about, ostensibly to placate the spirits, in a manner not dissimilar to the decoration of a 
Christmas tree with white artificial snow at Christmas time. 

"Captain Vancouver reports that he was received with 'decorum,' 'civility,' 'cordiality,' and 'respect,' and 
that presentations were made to him. I will explain to you the true meaning of this, always bearing in mind 
that I have come to know, it has come to me as knowledge, through my father's devotion to the duty of 
elders to pass on by word of mouth the great traditions and history of our race. 

"As your great explorer Vancouver progressed through the First Narrows, our people threw in greeting 
before him clouds of snow white feathers which rose, wafted in the air aimlessly about, then fell like 
flurries of snow to the water's surface, and rested there like white rose petals scattered before a bride. It 
must have been a pretty welcome. Then there were presents offish, all to invoke the all-powerful arrivals 
to have pity on them; it was the seventh year. You see, there was motive behind it. They were expecting 
a calamity and were anxious to do anything to avoid it. Read what Vancouver had to say about the 
conferences which took place, the meaning of which he did not understand, but which reports as, 'they 
did not seem to be hostile.' 

"I am informed that the ceremony of casting the white eiderdown before him took place as Captain 
Vancouver's ship passed through the First Narrows and was passing Whoi-Whoi, the big Indian village in 
Stanley Park where the Lumberman's Arch is now. Whoi-Whoi must have been a very large village, for it 
spread from Brockton Point to Prospect Point. It must also have been a very ancient village; none know 
its age, but there must have been hundreds, perhaps thousands living there at one time. Tradition says 
that Captain Vancouver went on up the inlet, spent the night on the shore, but saw few Indians, because 
none were living up there, so I am told. 

"I can quite understand that Captain Vancouver reports Stanley Park as an island blocking the channel, 
for in earlier days even I can recall that the waters of English Bay almost overflowed into Coal Harbour at 
Second Beach. 

"Tim Moody — Timothy is a flathead, that is, his forehead was flattened according to Indian custom when 
he was a child, and that is long ago; the sculptor Marega has made a bust model of his head and 
shoulders — Tim Moody tells you that all Stanley Park is called Paa-pee-ak; that is not correct. At the time 
of the court proceedings respecting the ejection of squatters from Stanley Park, I was called upon to 
replace Tim Moody as interpreter; Tim was expressing his own opinions instead of interpreting the 
witnesses' remarks. During the proceedings, I had to interpret for a very old Indian, Abraham. He 
continually and consistently referred to Stanley Park as Whoi-Whoi. No; Paa-pee-ak is nothing more than 
an Indian way of saying park. 

"It may be interesting to record how my ancestors cut down a tree. In bygone days, my ancestors cut 
down many cedar trees in Stanley Park for making canoes and other purposes; you can see the 
evidences of their attempts to cut down trees even yet. There are many trees in Stanley Park with little 
holes in them, holes some feet up from the ground. Last year, the Parks Board gave us permission to cut 
down a tree in Stanley Park to make a canoe, a racing canoe, and there is one such tree, with a little hole 
in it, near the tree we cut down for the racing canoe, and there are many such throughout the park, right 
at the head of Beaver Lake trail. You see, the Indian fellers had nothing but stone chisels and a big round 
stone for a hammer. Cedar trees expand in girth near the ground; frequently they are hollow or rotten in 
the centre; there would be disadvantage in cutting off at the widest diameter, for not only would the bulge 
have to be cut off with a stone chisel, but the lower end might have a rotten centre; too much extra labour. 
So they eliminated all this extra work by going a few feet up the tree trunk and cutting in an exploratory 
hole, ascertained if the tree was sound; if a rotten centre was struck, the tree was abandoned. That is the 


meaning of those little holes in the cedar trees; they are abandoned trees; ask the park forester to show 
them to you. 

"Siwash Rock! Well, Chants is not only a big rock on the beach, that is, symbolically Siwash Rock's 
fishing line rolled up in a ball, but it also includes a big hole in the cliff nearby where Slahkayulsh kept his 
fishing tackle. You can see the hole as you come in on the Victoria boat. Stuk-tuks is too abrupt a 
pronunciation of the name for the little bay known as Fisherman's Cove; abruptness destroys the sense of 
the root from which the word is derived. The longer Stoak-tux is better; it means 'all cut up'; the rocks 
there are all fluted and cut up. 

"Dick Isaacs' Indian name is Que-yah-chulk; Tim Moody's is Yahmas. Frank Charlie" (Ayatak) "of 
Musqueam is quite entitled to use the surname Capilano; the Capilanos of Capilano River and Frank 
Charlie of Musqueam both acknowledge descent from the same blood." 


"My ancestor Qoitchetahl, the celebrated serpent slayer of Squamish, was born at Stawmass, near 
Squamish. The aged Haxten tells me that he was the great-grandfather of my grandmother. I was given 
the name of Qoitchetahl at a meeting held in my grandmother's house on the North Vancouver Indian 
Reserve in 1 91 or 1 91 1 . All, every one of the old chiefs of the Squamish tribe were present. My 
grandmother, being a direct descendent of the original Qoitchetahl, herself chose me as the member of 
the family to bear the name Qoitchetahl." 

Note: the aged and wrinkled Haxten, seated nearby during the talk, is said to be 1 12 years old — it is fairly 
conclusive she is over 100. Her rapid and repeated utterance of the word Qoitchetahl sounded, in 
English, much like "Whichtull" or "Wudge-tal." [NOTE ADDED LATER: Haxten, or Mrs. Harriet George, 
North Vancouver, died 8 February 1940; see Province, 9 February 1940.] 

A full report, somewhat different in detail to that related by August Kitsilano of the legend of Qoitchetahl, 
is printed in Professor Chas. Hill-Tout's report on the Ethnological Survey of Canada, British Association 
for the Advancement of Science, Bradford Meeting, 1 900, page 530. August Kitsilano's account is given 
elsewhere in this record. 

Further conversation with Andrew Paull, North Vancouver, 10 January 1933. 

"The story of Kokohaluk and the burning of Homulcheson is not legend, but actual history," continued Mr. 
Paull (Qoitchetahl) "and is in part verified by Haxten," (Mrs. Harriet George) "my wife's grandmother, who 
actually saw the bodies of the slain; she is now over 100 years old, it is claimed that she is 112 years old, 
so that it is probable that the incident occurred about, say, ninety years ago. I will call her, and interpret 
for you." 

Query: Ask her why they call it Homulcheson? 

(Mr. Paull asks.) 

Haxten: "Ahh, ahh, ahh." (Mr. Paull interpreting.) "Where they split the cedar trees and made them into a 
fence" (fort or stockade), "because of the enemy that used to come, in the stockade they had a northern 
Indian woman imprisoned, Kokohaluk; they had stolen her from the enemy, and were keeping her in the 
fort; she had become the wife of a Squamish Indian and was an expectant mother. 

"Well, about eighteen warriors from the north came in a big canoe and at a moment when it was 
undefended, attacked the fort at Homulcheson, rescued Kokohaluk, burned the stockade, and made off 
with her. 

"Whilst all this was going on, three Squamish men, all brothers, were coming down in two canoes, one 
large and one small, from Squamish to Coquitlam. They were proceeding via the North Arm of the Fraser. 
The canoe had just been completed by the three brothers, and they were taking it as a present to their 
sister who had married a man at Coquitlam; the smaller canoe was to take the three brothers back to 


Squamish after the presentation. The big canoe was very valuable." ("As valuable as a large ocean liner 
is to us today," added Mr. Paull.) 

"As the raiders from the north, returning from the burned fort, were proceeding home again, they and the 
three Squamish men met; just where they sighted each other I do not know, but I think somewhere off 
Skaywitsut" (Point Atkinson); "the weaker force retired when they were attacked by the eighteen warriors. 
The fight took place somewhere about Kee-khaal-sum" (Eagle Harbour.) "Two brothers were in the great 
canoe [and] hastened to the shore to defend it; the other brother took the smaller canoe and took up a 
position behind the big boulder on the rocky shore. This brother's name was Skwa-lock-tun. He prepared 
for battle; he had his bow and arrow in a satchel slung to his side. One by one, the attackers were either 
killed or wounded, largely by Skwa-lock-tun from behind the big boulder, until finally only two of the 
raiders and the woman Kokohalak remained in the raiders' canoe. 

"Then Kokohaluk said to her captors, 'You had better stop fighting; that is a bad Squamish man you have 
met,' so the fighting ceased, and the dead and wounded were dragged back to the canoe, which drew off 
in the direction of the north and disappeared. 

"After their departure, Skwalocktun, the Squamish man, emerged from his retreat, and went to look for his 
brothers. He found both their bodies; their heads were gone; both large and small canoe were smashed 
to pieces. Skwalocktun alone survived, so he resolved to proceed to Homulcheson and seek assistance. 

"From Keekhaalsum to Homulcheson he walked, and then related the story of the fight. 

"Payt-sa-mauq, half-brother to 'Old Chief Capilano, said, This fighting must stop.' Kokohaluk's husband 
said, 'I love Kokohaluk. I am going to Nanaimo, where there is a Nanaimo man married to a woman from 
the north. I will ask him to go with me, and we will go as ambassadors of peace from the people of the 
south to the people of the north, and I will ask them to let me have Kokohaluk.' In due time, the mission 
proceeded north, their requests were granted, peace was declared, and," laughed Qoitchetahl as he 
interpreted, and then added, "they lived happily ever after." 

The slain lie in bushes at Gibson's. 

"A short time afterwards — how long she does not know — Haxten was journeying by canoe with her 
husband along the shore near Gibson's Landing, when her husband saw some wild gooseberries, and 
drew them to her notice. Haxten disembarked from the canoe, and proceeded up the shore to gather 
some, and whilst wandering midst the wild gooseberry bushes gathering the fruit, she 'stumbled upon' the 
bodies of the slain; they were covered with mats and badly decomposed. 

"After peace was declared, the Squamish houses were built on the shore, and not concealed in the forest 
as they had been previously, and as Captain Vancouver reports they were when he visited here in 1792; 
there was no longer fear from attack." 

Note: assuming Haxten's age to be 100, this incident probably happened about 1850. The dead would be 
heavy, and would be carried but a short distance, i.e. just beyond the actual beach. The Indians fought 
with bow and arrow; Matthias Capilano says that 'Old Chief Capilano had fought battles with bow and 
arrow and lived to fight them with guns. The white man's rule probably accounts for the change in sites of 

Paull continues the conversation; Haxten retires. 

"Some time ago, I saw at a table opposite a Yuclataw Indian; he appeared uneasy, conscious of some 
emotion, and presently he remarked to me that my ancestors and his had been foes, and commented 
upon the oddity of two descendents of hereditary foes conversing in amity side by side, and then he told 
me of the great holes which his ancestors had dug in the ground to protect themselves from the assaults 
of my ancestors, and mused on the labour he had been given, and smiled and nodded his head at the 
thought of it, of filling them up again. 'Some work,' he remarked with irony, 'I had to draw about twenty 
wagon loads of earth to fill each hole up again.'" 


"In studying the names on your map, I think we should change some of them. Hkachu means 'a lake'; 
Akhachu means 'a little lake,' and Beaver Lake in Stanley Park is a little lake. Then Siwash Rock is best 


spelt 'Slah-kay-ulsh' to get the proper meaning, 'he is standing up.' Be careful to spell Chah-kai with the 
second 'h' so as to distinguish it from Che-kai, i.e. Mount Garibaldi. The mouth of the creek just west of 
Wallace's Shipyard, 100 yards or so east of Lonsdale Avenue, should be spelt 'Es-tahl-tohk'; it means 'a 
fine, large, pretty house built there.' The name 'Stait-wouk,' Indian for Second Beach in Stanley Park, is 
the Indian name for a clay material or muddy substance formerly obtained right in the bed of a small 
creek right at Second Beach which, when rolled into loaves, as the Indians did it, and heated or roasted 
before a fire, turned white like chalk. As you know, the Indian blankets were made from the woven 
mountain goat's fur, and staitwouk, after being whitened, was used to dust or powder them with to whiten 
them. I am told that Staitwouk was the only place known to the Indians where this material was 

Note: Rev. CM. Tate says that Indians would come long distances to procure this white pipe clay; they 
came as far as from Vancouver's Island. 

"Sahix does not mean the site of the old Moodyville Sawmill, which was east of Sahix. Sahix means 'a 
point' or 'cape,' and is that prominent headland east of the North Vancouver ferry landing. If you will 
observe, you will see that the whole of the north shore from West Vancouver to Roche Point is low and 
flat save for one point, Sahix, which rises to eminence, and appears as a bold bluff; it must have been still 
more prominent when the forest grew upon it. At Estahltohk, just east of Lonsdale Avenue, there was a 
graveyard as well as a 'fine, large house.' Lucklucky means a 'grove of beautiful trees,' and 
'Kumkumlye' — it is better spelt 'lye' than 'lai' — means that there is a lot of 'maple trees' there" (Hastings 
Sawmill.) "In some of the photographs of early Vancouver, you will see Indian canoes about the Hastings 
Sawmill waters, canoes with upturned prow and stern; these are the canoes of northern Indians — 
probably they worked at the mill. The Squamish canoe is peculiar to itself; the stern is not turned high in 
the air, and the prow has a straight stem part way, and then a projection, like a blunt bill, and almost 
horizontal, sticks out. Smamchuze on False Creek brings to mind the system of Indian burials." 

Indian burials 

"Our system of burial has progressively changed. One hundred years ago, perhaps, it was exclusively 
tree burial, and, when they could get it, on an island; then changes gradually crept in. After the arrival of 
the whiteman they were told that it was not proper, not decent, to have bones lying on the surface of the 
earth, but even as late as 1907 or 1908 I was on those two little islands just west of Point Atkinson, south 
of Eagle Harbour, and found the remains of several bodies on the summit of one of them, just laid on the 
bare rock — there is no earth on those storm-swept islets — and covered with split cedar slabs, about say 
three inches thick, eighteen inches wide and about five or six feet long, held down by their own weight, no 
stones on them. This will illustrate that, prior to the advent of the whiteman, Indians did not usually bury in 
the ground; I would not say that they never did. Defence Island, near Squamish in Howe Sound, is an old 
Indian burial ground, merely half an acre in extent. It was surveyed and given to the Indians in 1876, and 
again surveyed in 1881, but recently has been sold to private parties by the Provincial Government, and a 
deed for it actually issued. The new 'owners' want $1 ,200 for it, but it belongs to the Indians, and was an 
old burial ground." 


"Do not forget that, in addition to being useful for canoes, buildings, etc., cedar was used to make 
undergarments." (Note: Hill-Tout speaks of it being used for the fluffy lining of infants' cradles.) 

Kee-khaal-sum (Eagle Harbour) which Prof. Hill-Tout refers to as having reference to "nipping grass, and 
that the deer went there in spring to eat the tender young grass, really refers to the gnawing of animals; 
you know, they have a habit of gnawing buds and tender shoots in spring. It really means 'gnawing.'" 

Pookcha, that is, part of Spanish Banks, can be interpreted radically as "floating," perhaps "floating 
island"; it suggests something rising out of the water as though it were floating, as of say, the back of a 
whale. Pookcha is that particular part of Spanish Banks at the northwestern extremity which, as soon as 
the tide starts to ebb, rises out of the water earlier than the remainder of the sandbanks; it is a knoll on 
the sand flats, and when first it appears out of the water, has the appearance of floating. 


Excerpts from Captain George Vancouver's journal— to be read in conjunction 
with Andrew Paull's (Qoitchetahl) remarks. 


At five in the morning of June 1 3 th we again directed our course to the eastern shore. 

Which in compliment to my friend Capt. Grey of the navy was called Point Grey. 

From Point Grey we passed to the northward of an island [Stanley Park] which nearly terminated 
its extent, forming a passage from ten to seven fathoms deep [First Narrows] "not more than a 
cable's length in width. This island lying exactly across the channel appeared to form a similar 
passage to the south of it [Coal Harbour] with a smaller island [Deadman's Island] lying before it. 
The channel [Burrard Inlet] in width about half a mile continued its direction about east. Here we 
were met by about fifty Indians in canoes, who conducted themselves with great decorum 
and civility , presenting us with several fish cooked and undressed of a sort resembling 
smelt. These good people , finding we were inclined to make some return for their 
hospitality showed much understanding in preferring iron to copper. 

For the sake of the company of our new friends we stood under easy sail, which encouraged 
them to attend us some little distance up the arm. The major part of the canoes twice paddled 
forward, assembled before us, and each time a conference was held. The subject matter, which 
remained a profound secret to us, did not appear to be of an unfriendly nature, and they soon 
returned, and if possible, expressed additional cordiality and respect. [See Andrew Paull's 
explanation of this incident] Our numerous attendants, who gradually dispersed as we advanced 
from the station where we had first met them, and three or four canoes only accompanied us up a 
navigation which in some places did not exceed one hundred and fifty yards in width [probably 
Second Narrows.] 

We landed for the night about half a league from the head of the inlet [about Barnet] and about 
three leagues from the entrance [Prospect Point.] Our Indian visitors remained with us until by 
signs we gave them to understand we were going to rest, and, after receiving some acceptable 
articles, they retired, and by means of the same language, promised an abundant supply offish 
the next day, our seine having been tried in their presence with very little success. A great desire 
was manifested by these people to imitate our actions, especially the firing of a musket, which 
one of them performed, though with much fear and trembling. They minutely attended to all our 
transactions, and examined the colour of our skins with great curiosity; they possessed no 
European commodities or trinkets, excepting some rude ornaments apparently made from sheet 
cooper; this circumstance and the general tenor of their behaviour gave us reason to conclude 
that we were the first white people from a civilized country that they had yet seen. 

Perfectly satisfied with our researches in this branch of the sound [English Bay] at four in the 
morning of Thursday, 14 th , we retraced our passage in; leaving on the northern shore a small 
opening" [north arm of Burrard Inlet] with two little islets before it of little importance. 

As we passed the situation from whence the Indians had visited us the previous day [probably 
Whoi-Whoi or Homulcheson] with a small border of low marshy land on the northern shores 
intersected by several creeks of fresh water [Mosquito, Mackey, Mission, Lynn, Seymour creeks 
and Capilano River] we were in expectation of their company, but were disappointed owing to 
travelling so soon in the morning. Most of their canoes were hauled up in creeks and two or 
three only of the natives could be seen straggling about on the beach. None of their habitations 
could be discovered whence we concluded that their villages were within the forest. [See Paul/.] 
Two canoes came off as we passed the island [Stanley Park — canoes probably from Whoi-Whoi] 
but our boats being under sail I was not inclined to halt, and they almost immediately returned. 

By seven in the morning we had reached the north west point of the channel. This also, after 
another particular friend, I named Point Atkinson. 


Indian houses. John Innes. 

In conversation today with John Innes, the last of the pioneer historical scenic painters, at his office in the 
Province building, Hastings Street, Vancouver, and who ornamented the map of Indian place names, 
published in the Province of 12 March 1933 under the caption "BEFORE THE PALE-FACE CAME," I 
asked him to tell me about the building he drew to adorn the map. 

"That building was at Bella Coola; I sketched it years ago; it was the finest Indian community house I ever 
saw. It was about sixty feet long, 25 or 30 feet wide, and about 15 feet to the cross timbers inside. At the 
far end the chief and his family lived, at the near end the slaves; down the centre was earth, where the 
fires were built. On each side of the earthen centre was a platform on which the dancing took place, and 
between the platform, which extended on both sides of the building from one end to the other, were the 
sections, or 'cubby holes,' where the families lived. 

"The roof had a pitch of about ten percent; very flat; but in the centre of the building — not from end to end, 
but in the centre only — on the roof, was a portion of the roof which was raised, as you will see in my 
drawing, to let the smoke out. The smoke opening extends a few feet in the centre of the roof." 

I asked, "I thought they" (the Indians) "built roofs with one slope only, and knew nothing about gables?" 

"No," answered Mr. Innes, "that building had a gable roof; I think it is there yet, at the 'Rascal's Village' 
which MacKenzie, the explorer, speaks of in his narrative." 

The map in question was illustrated by Mr. Innes without my knowledge, and published as illustrated. The 
evidence of Mr. CM. Tate and Professor Chas. Hill-Tout (see their remarks and reports) is distinctly that 
Squamish Indians, at least, built lean-to buildings, and did not build gable roofs. Further, a picture drawn 
by the artist on Captain Cook's ships at Nootka in 1778 shows lean-to buildings. 

J.S. Matthews 

Alteration of pronunciation by succeeding generation of Indians. 

Rev. CM. Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary, 25 August 1932: "I have known of cases where there was a 
grandfather, a father and a grandchild; the father would have to interpret the grandchild's speech to the 
grandchild's own grandfather. Professor Hill-Tout is right." 

Professor Hill-Tout explains that the interpretation of sounds as herein given by him are from notes made 
by him over forty years ago; a somewhat difficult task, and further, surviving Indians of the generation 
amongst which he laboured inform him that the present generation of Indians do not invariably pronounce 
words as did their forefathers, and suggest that perhaps these two facts account for the slight 
differentiation between authorities. 

Tim Moody (Yahmas), a North Vancouver Indian whose forehead is flat — flattened in his babyhood, 
according to former Indian custom — probably 60 or 70 years old, anyway old enough to recall the 
Hudson's Bay steamer Beaver lying on the rocks at Prospect Point in 1 886-1 892, that is over forty years 
ago. I had come to ask him to pronounce the Indian names because, I said to him, "young Indian say 
differently old Indian." 

In reply he looked up, his eyes glistened, and he gesticulated concurrence, and said, "Eh, eh" (Yes, yes.) 

Remark by Prof. Hill-Tout: "The epithet 'Siwash' is a corruption of the French word 'sauvage,' i.e. 'wild, 
savage.'" See Chillahminst (Jim Franks). 


Authorities - Indian nomenclature. 

Professor Chas. Hill-Tout, F.R.S.C, F.R.A.I., director, Vancouver City Museum. Report on the 
Ethnological Survey of Canada, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Bradford Meeting, 
1900, Belfast Meeting, 1902, etc. 

Rev. Charles Montgomery Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary, arrived B.C. 1870, first saw Granville 1873, 
assisted dedication first (Indian) church at Granville 1 876; translator of Gospel of Mark into Indian tongue; 
author Dictionary of Chinook Jargon, 1914; also book of hymns in Indian tongue; probably the foremost 
living authority on the practical speaking of Indian languages. 

F.J.C. Ball, Indian Agent, Department of Indian Affairs, Vancouver. 

Major J. S. Matthews, V.D., Archivist, City of Vancouver. Compiler of map "Indian Villages and Landmarks, 
Burrard Inlet and English Bay, Before the Whitemans Came," adopted as official by Squamish Indian 
Chiefs, 1 3 January 1 933. Author of Early Vancouver, 1 931 , The First Settlers ofBurrard's Inlet, etc. 


Andrew Paull (Qoitchetahl), North Vancouver Indian Reserve, secretary, Squamish Indian Council of 
Chiefs, secretary, Progressive Native Tribes of British Columbia, director, Squamish Indian Band and 
Orchestra; a prominent well-known Indian, educated and speaks, writes and types English fluently; a 
clever man and a leader among Indians. Indian name Qoitchetahl. 

August Kitsilano (or August Jack) of Capilano Indian Reserve, grandson of Chief Haatsalahnough, hand 
logger on own account, speaks good English, but cannot read or write. An outstanding Indian of above 
average intelligence; not a chief. Born at Snauq, False Creek, about 1878. [NOTE ADDED LATER: 
Actually in 1877.] 

Dick Isaacs, Indian name Queyahchulk, North Vancouver Indian reserve, aged "about 70," one arm. 
Constantly consulted by Andrew Paull, speaks good English but cannot read or write. 

Tim Moody, Indian name Yahmas, flathead Indian, aged "about 60 or 70 or more." Speaks good English, 
cannot read or write. The Vancouver sculptor Charles Marega has made a bust of "Old Timothy" which 
shows flattened forehead; probably the last of his kind. 

Jim Franks, Indian name Chillahminst, North Vancouver Indian Reserve, aged "about 65 or 70." Born at 
Skwayoos (Kitsilano Beach). Speaks very good English, but cannot read or write. Fine, intelligent Indian. 

Frank Charlie, Indian name Ayatak, Musqueam Indian, Musqueam Indian Reserve, aged "about 70 or 
80." Says "Old Chief" Capilano his grandfather, and that the "Old Chief" told him he saw first white man, 
Fraser, come down Fraser River. Nephew of Chief Lah-wa. Speaks good English but cannot read or 

Handbook of Indians of Canada. 

This book states that it is "Reprinted by permission from Handbook of American Indians north of Mexico, 
published as Bulletin 30, Bureau of American Ethnology," and is issued by the Geographic Board of 
Canada, tenth report, printed 1913. 

Extract, page 438: 


The SPELLING IS FAULTY, so far as it refers to places frequented by the Squamish tribe. THE 

Professor Hill-Tout's comment of spelling and details of information: "This is dreadful." 



Suntz: a Squawmish village, actually a barren rock, page 442. 

Chants: a Squawmish village, actually a rock and cave, page 87. 

Chalkunts: a Squamish village, no such place, page 87. 

Koalcha: should be Kwahulcha, not "Coal." 

and many others. 

"Hill-Tout in Rep. Brit. A.A.S. 1900" is quoted as authority, and appears to have been so used by 
someone who could not understand Prof. Hill-Tout's phonetics. See Prof. Hill-Tout's Report on the 
Ethnological Survey of Canada, British Association for the Advancement of Science, Bradford Meeting, 
1900, pages 472-3. 

Alexander McLean, oldest living pioneer. 

First saw Burrard Inlet, 1858. Died 26 August 1932, 14 days after he gave this story. 

As narrated by this venerable gentleman of 81 , in the presence of Mrs. McLean, whom he married in 
1876, grandchildren and others, at 205 15 th Avenue West, 12 August 1932. A jovial, happy pioneer with 
white hair, beard, ruddy complexion, and stocky, sturdy frame of medium height, he must have been a 
powerful man once; "not very well" last winter. 

"It must have been 1 853, perhaps 1 854, that Father, who had been the first wood, water and ?" (with a 
laugh) "whisky too, merchant in San Francisco, decided that he had got money enough, and set sail in the 
three master schooner Rob Roy — she was a good, big boat which could carry 250 cattle — for the north. 
Port Townshend was already a port; Seattle was just starting. We stopped at Seattle, oh, perhaps two 
weeks; it was a little bit of a place; they were clearing the forest off — a company had it, and had 250 men 
there clearing off the forest. The town was down near the flats; they avoided the big hill on the north. 

"Well, after we had stayed there a while, we set sail for Whatcom, and stayed there a year or so, built a 
fine house on the shore and — no, I don't know what nationality Father was, British or American, I imagine 
American. Anyway, we stayed there a year and then went to Point Roberts where we remained a year or 
more. Father built a fine hotel and a private house. One day we found seven men dead on the beach, 
murdered. We buried them, and then set off for Seattle to let the consul know. We slipped off in the dark, 
father and myself. I was not very big, but big enough to hold a rope. We rowed all the way; it took us two 
and one half days." 

Note: refer "Indian Villages and Landmarks," comment by Chief Matthias Capilano re murders. Haxten, 
aged Indian woman states one "bad Squamish man" killed "forty whitemans"; the Indians shot him 
themselves as an outlaw for he was killing both whites and Indians. 

"Then our hotel at Point Roberts was burned down; one of my brothers was burned in the fire; the other 
brother, Duncan, escaped. Then Father decided on the move which brought us to British Columbia. 

"He took the Rob Roy, and we started to collect cattle. We got some one place and some another, great 
fine beasts they were, and then made for the Fraser River with about 250 head on board. As we sailed up 
the Fraser, I never saw so many Indians in my life; both sides — shores — were lined with them. 

"When we were above New Westminster, at a place they call Port Coquitlam now, it was, as I first saw it, 
a great big prairie, but now it is all covered with trees, some perhaps four or five feet thick. There we put 
the cattle ashore, but the Indians shot a couple of them, and father decided that that was enough, so we 
got the remainder which had been put ashore back on board. We had no knowledge that the tide went so 
far up the river, and had calculated without it, and it was with much difficulty that the shore cattle were got 
back, through the mud, on board again. 

"Just then, Governor Douglas came along in the old Hudson Bay steamer Beaver, and he boarded us. He 
told Father to go to Pitt River, and thither we went. It looked a nice flat prairie country, and the cattle were 
turned loose. 


"But we had not reckoned with the summer flood. The first year the water came up and began to flood the 
land, then it came up some more, and finally it began to flood the house; the cattle took to the hills. 
Things looked pretty gloomy; our crop of potatoes was under water. However, the water finally receded; 
we planted another crop of potatoes and vegetables, and they grew so well that we harvested them, and 
then Father and others, including myself, set out on a five ton sloop to find a better, drier spot on which to 
establish. I was just a boy. 

"We sailed down the north arm of the Fraser River, and somewhere just near the mouth ran aground, but 
got off again, and sailed into English Bay. We made for the Narrows; the Indians did not see us, or they 
might have stopped us; we were careful about that. Up about where Lynn Creek is now, we saw a big, flat 
stretch of country, but we sailed on, and when we were well up the inlet, turned into another arm. Father 
was looking to see where it led to, but of course we ran into the end and turned back — there was nothing 
up there, only hills and woods — so we went back to Pitt Meadows and decided to try there again. We 
thought for a while to establish with Brighouse at Sexsmith. There was nothing on Burrard Inlet then; John 
Morton had not arrived. 

"The next year, the floods were not so bad; we stayed there for many years. We had 600 acres at first; 
afterwards we got another 600. Finally, I sold my share in the estate, went to Kamloops, to" (Blackpool) 
"thirty years ago. 

"The River Indians were not so bad, but the 'saltwater' Indians were ..." 

Mrs. McLean interjects, "I have heard Mr. McLean's mother say that she always gave the Indians 
something when they asked for it; small allowances of tea, sugar, etc. I have heard Mrs. McLean" (senior) 
"say that she has actually seen the Indians spit in the frying pan when meat was frying in it." 

Question: Did not know any better? 

Mrs. McLean: "Did not know any better? Dirty!" 

Note: doubtful that the Indians did not know any better; the surmise is that it was to assure obtaining the 
contents of the frying pan. 

Mrs. McLean (senior) had told Mrs. McLean (junior) that she used to wrap some food in a paper and give 
it to the Indians. 

"I don't know exactly when the Indians ceased putting their dead in the trees," continued Mr. McLean, "of 
course, after they stopped the tree burials, they wrapped them in blankets. I remember one time when 
they were building the C.P.R., I saw a lot of men coming towards what we called afterwards Westminster 
Junction, now Coquitlam Junction, and wondered what the hell they were doing; they were loaded down 
with blankets. The beggars had been robbing the blankets off the Indian dead. The Indians used to wrap 
the dead bodies in about twenty blankets — anyway, a lot of blankets — and these white railroad fellows 
had been digging the Indians up — they were down in the ground about six inches only, and until they got 
too 'bad,' had peeled the blankets off the dead Indians. The Indian houses were all made of cedar, hand 
split cedar shakes, and a large number of families living in the same house." 

Note: Mr. McLean made some remark about the "Chinamen were here before the white man." My note is 
incomplete — he spoke very fast, too fast to get it all down, and now he is dead. 

Mrs. McLean said that about a month before they were married in 1876, Mr. McLean and she drove over 
from New Westminster to the "end of the road" at Hastings (Geo. Black's). When they got to Black's there 
was no room in the boat, and Mr. McLean said he was going to walk to Hastings Mill where there were 
sports being held, and which they wanted to attend, and she would have to wait until the boat came back 
(approximately two and half miles each way.) She asked, "How far is it?" and Mr. McLean replied, "Three 
miles," and she answered, "Then I'll walk with you." When they got to Hastings Mill, they put up at 
"Alexander's," that is the Mill hotel, and, said Mrs. McLean, "I thought it the funniest thing, but the door 
was made of plain flooring." 



City of Vancouver crest 

1 September 1932 

Dear Major Matthews. 

I am directed by the Mayor to thank you for your kindness in representing him at the funeral of the 
late Mr. Alex McLean, and to assure you that he is deeply appreciative. 

George Fitch 

Secretary to the Mayor (Louis D. Taylor) 

Mr. McLean died on 26 August at Vancouver, and was buried at New Westminster 30 August. The Mayor 
of New Westminster, members of the Council, Senator Taylor, and other distinguished men attended. At 
the time of Mr. McLean's death, he was the oldest living pioneer in Vancouver — some say in British 

Excerpt from letter, 16 May 1932, by W.H. Keary, former mayor of Westminster: 

"My dear Alex, I saw the old muzzle loading gun your father brought from Australia in '56 or '57. I also 
saw your photograph in highland costume; I thought you must have been in the Russian war by the 
medals you had on." 

Note: one of these two small cannon was in the basement of Mr. McLean's residence, 205 1 5 th Avenue 
West, in 1 932; it is stated that the other is in the Vancouver City Museum. A small gun about 24 or 30 
inches long, muzzle loading, and with a bore about big enough to drop an apple into. 

Letter, W.H. Keary, 21 May 1932: "After reaching here in the spring of 1858, June gave a very high water, 
Capt. McLean moved to Douglas Island at the mouth of the Pitt River, and they never moved from the 
ranch that they first located on when they came round Point Roberts from Bellingham then called Watcom 
on Semiamho Bay." 


T.W. Herring, who came to New Westminster, 1858, told me 15 February 1936 (now very old, 
feeble man) that the Rob Roy went to pieces on river bank at McLean's farm — just rotted. He said 
she was "a bit of a thing; not very big." Herring says McLean came "round the Horn." 

J.S.M. 17 February 1936. 

Alexander McLean. 

5 October 1 859. He purchased Section 18, Blk 6 north, Range 1 East, 1 58 acres @ 1 0/- per acre. 
5 October 1 859. He purchased Section 19, Blk 6 north, Range 1 East, 28 acres @ 1 0/- per acre. 
20 December 1862. He purchased Section 17, Blk 6 north, Range 1 East, 91 acres @ 4/2 per acre. 
20 December 1862. He purchased Section 8, Blk 6 north, Range 1 East, 160 acres @ 4/2 per acre. 
25 April 1860. Preemption record 142, 160 acres. D.L. 231. 
28 April 1 884. Crown Grant, 1 68 acres. D.L. 231 . 


The People's 
Safety Valve 


Editor Province, — In the notice of 
the late Alex McLean's death in a 
recent issue, your obituarist made a 
slight inaccuracy which tt might he 
of interest to correct, in the state- 
ment: "In the nineties he (deceased) 
rowed against Ned Hanlon, world's 
champion, over the Burrard Inlet 

The aquatic records, I think, will 
be searched in vain Tor any such race 
on the waters of Burrard Inlet. Mc- 
Lean did meet Ned Hanlon in a 
unique race on the Praser River at 
New Westminster, in September, 1891, 
In connection with the international 
regatta which was the outstanding 
sports feature that year of the Pro- 
vincial Exhibition — celebration of the 
Royal Agricultural and Industrial 
Society of British Columbia. 

The star aquatic event on that occa- 
sion was the three-mile single -scull 
race, September 24, 18B1, between 
William O'Connor, champion of 
America; Ned Hanlon, ex-champion at 
the time; and Dutch and Stephenson, 
Australian champions. They finished 
in that order, O'Connor's time being 
20 minutes 55 seconds, with Hanlon 
three lengths behind at the finish, 
Dutch eight lengths, and Stephenson 
twelve lengths. 

McLean's race with Hanlon during 
the same regatta was a specially 
arranged race over the same course j 
for $400 a side — McLean rowing in an 
outrigged skiff (he drew the line at 
shells) and Hanlon (who gave Mc- 
Lean a start of 500* yards, figured at 
the time as being equivalent to 1% 
minutes) in his regular racing shell. 
After an exciting struggle before some 
fifteen thousand spectators afloat and 
ashore, the gallant McLean won by 
three lengths, in the recorded time 
of 19 minutes 20 seconds, Hanlon's 
time over the full three-mile course 
having been recorded at 20 minutes 
28 seconds — a record at the time. 


New Westminster. 

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1 " . 


















































<<-< 01 















Alexander McLean. 

Letter, dated 3 May 1932, (dictated) by Alex. McLean to Major Matthews: 

I was born in San Francisco on 3 June 1 852. In April 1 858 our family, father, mother, brother and 
myself, came to British Columbia and settled at Pitt Meadows. 

My father Captain McLean had a sailing vessel named the Rob Roy, and while sailing up the 
Fraser River the Indians would not allow us to land, so we turned back, and on the way down we 
saw a boat called the Beaverwhich came from Victoria, B.C. Governor Douglas was on board the 
Beaver, and as the Beaver came alongside of our vessel, my father went aboard the Beaver and 
talked to the governor, who recommended us to go to Pitt Meadows. 

We took up farming and lived there a number of years. 

In the year of the high water, 1 894, my wife and my children and I left for Kamloops and settled 
there in the farming districts. 

We lived in the Kamloops district about thirty years, and then came down to Vancouver again 
where we have been living ever since. 

My father and mother stayed on the farm (at Pitt Meadows) until their deaths, and are buried in 
Sapperton Cemetery. I would be very pleased to see you as I can tell you much more than I can 
write; also I would like to show you a cannon which was on our sailing ship, the Rob Roy, and 
which we fired [with] at the Indians at Cape Flattery. 

Yours sincerely, Alexander McLean. 

(Written and signed by his daughter.) 

Letter, dated Kamloops, 15 May 1932, written by C.W. Johnston "for Mr. and Mrs. McLean." 

Re Alexander McLean. Mr. McLean, who was only six years old at the time, accompanied his 
father, who settled on land at Pitt River, in the spring of 1 858, but owing to the high water their 
place was flooded, so they boarded their five ton sailing sloop and went in search of drier 
quarters on which to farm. 

They cruised all around where the present site of Vancouver now is, and up as far as where Port 
Moody is now located. They spent most of their time on the sloop, and landed a few times only, 
but there is no doubt in his mind or of Mrs. McLean's who has heard them speak of it often that 
he was actually standing on the site of the present city of Vancouver. They know of no actual 
witness now living, but remember Mr. Ed. W. Atkins, who worked for them in 1865. Mr. Ed. Atkins 
was a well known resident of Coquitlam. 

In a set of books of the history of British Columbia (biographical) Mr. Donald McLean, Alexander's 
brother, made a mistake when he stated he came in 1859, it should have been 1858. This book 
gives a good account of D. McLean, and may prove interesting to you, although Alex, is not 
mentioned in it. Mr. McLean is in very poor health at present; if you wish to know more, refer to 
ex-mayor Keary of New Westminster, or Bob Johnston, oarsman of Vancouver. Mrs. McLean 
attended the celebration in Gastown on the 1 st July 1876 in company with Mr. A. McLean. Also 
refer Mrs. T.E. Thomas, 205 West 15 th Ave., who can supply you with photo of Mr. McLean's 
father and mother. 

C.W. Johnston. 

Writing this for Mr. and Mrs. McLean who supplied information. 

Letter received 5 June 1932 from J. Johnston, grandchild. 

When Mr. McLean first reached Vancouver in 1858 there were no houses belonging to white 
people, but there were rancheries belonging to Indians. These rancheries were constructed on 
posts, and were covered on roof and sides with split cedar, and were continuous like one long 


shed. The Indians lived in banded groups like one large family, and for this reason their buildings 
were called rancheries. 

There were tribes situated along Burrard Inlet, the Narrows, the north arm of the Fraser, in fact, 
they were scattered all over the districts joining Vancouver. 

Mr. McLean's father was a sea captain sailing out of San Francisco. He became interested in 
farming, and being considered wealthy, was able to take his boat loaded with 300 head of cattle 
and enough provisions to start a large store, and set sail for Watkum [Whatcom]. He stayed at 
Whatcom a couple of years freighting with his boat, then came to Pitt Meadows, now known as 
Coquitlam. They were going to stop at the mouth of the Coquitlam River, and when unloading the 
Indians shot a steer, so they moved farther up the river. On the way they met Governor Douglas, 
and he directed them to Pitt Meadows, where Mr. McLean's father lived until he died. They sold 
the boat, and Mr. McLean still has one of the cannons off the boat at his home in Vancouver. The 
boat was called the Rob Roy. 

Mr. McLean was an all round athlete, and took an active part in all sports. He was well known as 
a rower, and was in a good many boat races both in Canada and in the United States. He rowed 
against Hanlon in San Francisco, Vancouver and New Westminster, winning two. He went with 
Bob Johnston, T. Stevenson, and another man by the name of McLean to San Francisco, and 
took part in the boat races there. I believe Mr. Bob Johnston is still a resident of Vancouver. He 
was well known for his feat of crossing the Fraser River in a wash tub. He was very good in field 
sports excelling in running, jumping and especially in the pole vault. He was a very strong 
swimmer and I believe he was life saver at English Bay in 1 920 and 1 921 . 

He was right at home in the water, taking after his father, and was able to trace currents in a 
stream, and I have often heard him say he could trace a body in the water as easy as a man 
could follow signs in the woods. For this reason he was often called upon to reclaim bodies from 
the rivers, and in early days was never known to fail. 

Mrs. Alexander McLean. 

note added later: 

Born 9 March 1859, died 19 February 1937 at Vancouver. 

"I came from Madot, Ontario via Chicago and California and landed in Victoria on Christmas Day in 1872. 
My father had friends in New Westminster and we settled in Sapperton. I went with Mr. McLean to 
Hastings town site, the end of the road at that time, Dominion Day, 1 876. We walked three miles to 
Gastown, where Mr. McLean took part in the sports. We were in Vancouver a good many times before 
the fire. I lived in Vancouver, and my children, namely Mrs. W.H. Johnston, Blackpool, 1877, Mr. John 
McLean, Sapperton, 1878, Mr. James McLean, Seattle, 1880, and Mrs. T.E. Thomas, Vancouver, 1882, 
all went to school there before the fire." (The dates given indicate year they were first in Vancouver.) This 
list of children is as follows: Elizabeth (Mrs. W.H. Johnston), Blackpool, B.C., born at Sapperton, 9 April 
1877; Donald (John), Sapperton, 17 March 1878, James Alexander, Seattle, 28 March 1880, Esther (Mrs. 
T.E. Thomas), Vancouver, 28 February 1882, all born at Sapperton. Grandchildren — all born in B.C. 
Children of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Johnston: James, Clarence, Earl, Myrtle, Elsie, Elizabeth, Alexander, 
Stanley, Florence, Helen, 10 in all. Children of Mr. and Mrs. John McLean: May, Ella, Calvin, Doris, 
Ardith, Ray, Donald, 7 in all. Children of Mr. and Mrs. T.E. Thomas: Hazel, Thomas, Dorothy, Olive, 
William, Lillian. Also grandchildren, see letter. 


Mrs. McLean was born 9 March 1859, died 19 February 1937 at midnight at home of daughter 
Mrs. T.E. Thomas, 1031 West 10 th , Vancouver. Buried at New Westminster beside her husband. 

Mrs. T.E. Thomas, in 1 937, at time of Mrs. McLean's death, had 6 children. In all, Mrs. McLean 
left 4 children, 23 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. 


William Hailstone, Sam Brighouse, John Morton 
Pione ers of Vancouver 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_018 


1 C/h**jS? J 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_019 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_020 



Item # EarlyVan_v2_021 




Item # EarlyVan_v2_023 


~&t'/ > *y L W 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_024 




Item # EarlyVan_v2_025 


Copy of Photostat No. 12240, Dept. of Lands, Survey Branch, Victoria. 

No. 65 

New Westminster 

November 1862 


We the undersigned desire to pre-empt the Plot of Land (marked on the plan "red") situated at 
Burrard's Inlet, bounded on the north by Burrard's Inlet, on the east by Government reserve, on 
the south by English Bay, and on the west by Government Reserve, will you please record the 
above described piece of land for us. 


William Hailstone, 

Sam Brighouse 
John MortonNote: the consideration was four shillings and two pence per acre, 550 acres £114.1 1 .8 
official receipt 7 December 1 865. Price paid in scrip. $1 .01 per acre $555.75, File 286/73 Dept. of Lands, 

Burrard Inlet Survey, 1863. Lance-Corporal G. Turner, R.E. 

Historic Survey of Vancouver, 1863. 

The village which has been laid out "en bloc." 

Copy of order on small sheet of paper in the handwriting of Col. R.C. Moody, commanding Royal 
Engineers, directing survey of Burrard Inlet. The original field notes, together with original letter, and 
preserved in the Land Registry, Victoria. 

26 Jan'y 1863 


Copy handed to 
Corp'l Turner. 
W. McColl, S.R.E. 

Memo for Capt. Parsons RE 

I wish Corporal Turner and party to proceed by earliest opportunity to Burrard Inlet to revise posts 
of gov't reserve for town near entrance — Do. Do. naval reserve and then to survey lands the 
property of R. Burnaby and N.P.P. Crease and from thence to lay out claims or survey lands (160 
acres each, narrow side to shore front) between such points and the village which has been laid 
out "en bloc". In laying out above the party is especially to mark on plan and transmit the same as 
early as possible to me showing any clearances or huts or other 'occupations' recently made by 
any parties. 

Col. Com'g 

John Morton, William Hailstone, Sam Brighouse. 

Copy of original documents in Land Registry, Vancouver. 

1858 Royal Arms 



Frederick Seymour 

Colony of British Columbia 

No. eight 


VICTORIA by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the 
Colonies and Dependencies thereof in Europe Asia Africa America and Australasia 

QUEEN Defender of the Faith and so forth TO ALL to whom these presents shall come 

KNOW YE that WE do by these presents for US OUR Heirs and Successors in consideration of 
the sum of 

One hundred and fourteen pounds eleven shillings and eight pence to US paid give and grant 
unto Sam Brighouse William Hailstone and John Morton their heirs and assigns all that parcel or 
Lot of Land situate in the District of New Westminster said to contain five hundred and fifty acres 

and numbered Lot one eighty five Group one on the official Plan or Survey of the said District in 
the colony of British Columbia to Have and to Hold the said parcel or lot of land, and all and 
singular the premises here by granted with their appurtenances unto the said Sam Brighouse 
William Hailstone and John Morton their heirs and assigns forever. 

PROVIDED NEVERTHELESS that it shall at all time be lawful for US Our Heirs and Successors 
or for any person or persons acting in that behalf by Our or their authority to resume any part of 
the said lands which it may be deemed necessary to resume for making roads canals bridges 
towing paths or other works of public utility or convenience so nevertheless that the lands so to 
be resumed shall not exceed one twentieth part of the whole of the lands aforesaid and that no 
such resumption shall be made of any lands on which any buildings have been erected or which 
may be in use as gardens or otherwise for the more convenient occupation of any such buildings. 

PROVIDED NEVERTHELESS that it shall at all time be lawful for US Our Heirs and Successors 
or for any person or persons acting under Our or their authority to enter into and upon any part of 
the said lands and to raise and get thereout any gold or silver ore which may be thereupon or 
thereunder situate and to use and enjoy any and every part of the same land and of the 
easements and privileges thereto belonging for the purpose of such raising and getting and every 
other purpose connected therewith paying in respect of such raising getting and use reasonable 

PROVIDED NEVERTHELESS that it shall be lawful for any person duly authorised in that behalf 
by Us Our Heirs and Successors to take and occupy such water privileges and to have and enjoy 
such rights of carrying water over through or under any parts of the hereditaments hereby granted 
as may be reasonably required for mining purposes in the vicinity of the said hereditaments 
paying therefore a reasonable compensation to the aforesaid Sam Brighouse William Hailstone 
and John Morton their heirs and assigns. 

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF we have caused these OUR Letters to be made patent and the 
Great Seal of OUR COLONY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA to be hereunto affixed WITNESS OUR 
right trusty and well beloved FREDERICK SEYMOUR ESQUIRE Governor and Commander-in- 
Chief of OUR Colony of British Columbia and its Dependencies at OUR Government House in 
OUR City of New Westminster this twentieth day of May in the year of Our Lord One Thousand 
Eight Hundred and sixty seven and in the Thirtieth Year or OUR Reign. 


(signed) A 

Deposited for registration the 27 th May A.D. 1867 at 2 p.m. 
Copy of original documents in the Land Registry, Vancouver: 

Recorded this 1 3 th day of November 1 871 in Record of Conveyance, Vol. 1 folio 200. 

Henry S. Mason. 

Act'g Registrar General. 


THIS INDENTURE made the fourth day of November one thousand eight hundred and seventy 
one between William Hailstone and Sam Brighouse of the City of New Westminster in the 
Province of British Columbia of the First part and John Morton of the same place of the second 
part Witnesseth 

That the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the said party of the Second part 
having given up to them all his undivided interest in and to Sections No 1 and No 2 of subdivision 
of Lot 185 Group 1 as marked and numbered on the official plan or survey of rural lands of the 
District of New Westminster in the Province of British Columbia and more fully described in a 
deed of conveyance of even date herewith the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, doth 
grant, bargain, sell, release, convey and confirm free from encumbrance unto the said party of the 
Second part his heirs executors administrators and assigns forever, all the estate, right, title and 
interest legal and equitable of them the said parties of the First part in and to that piece or parcel 
of land containing one hundred and eighty three and one third acres (183 1/3) more or less and 
marked Section No 3 on plan of subdivision of aforesaid Lot 1 85 Group 1 or otherwise being one 
third of, and on the western side of said Lot 1 85 Together with all and singular the hereditaments 
and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining to have and to hold the said 
premises unto and to the use of the said party of the Second part his heirs executors 
administrators and assigns covenants with the said party of the Second part his heirs executors 
administrators and assigns that they have full power to make this assignment of the said 
premises and that they have their heirs executors administrators and assigns will at any time 
hereafter, whenever required, but at the expense of the party requiring it, make, do and execute 
all such further deed or other assurance for further or better assuring the premises hereby 
demised to the use of the said party of the Second part, his heirs and assigns as by him or them 
shall be reasonably required. 

IN WITNESS whereof the said parties have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year 
first above written. 

William Hailstone 
Sam Brighouse 
John Morton 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of John Brough. 





Item # EarlyVan_v2_026 


As the survey of Section No. 1-2 and 3, Group 1 , New Westminster District has not yet been 
made the dividing lines here shown are only approximate but sufficiently accurate to show the 
position of each section as approved of and agreed to by us on this 25 th day of October 1 871 . 

William Hailstone. 
John Morton. 
Sam Brighouse. 

Copy of the original documents in the Land Registry, Vancouver: 

No 1943A registered the 16 th May A.D. 1877 in Absolute Fees Book, Vol. 5, folio 406. 

H.B.W.— man, RegrGenl. 

THIS INDENTURE made the fourth day of November one thousand eight hundred and seventy 
one between JOHN MORTON of the city of New Westminster in the province of British Columbia 
of the first party, and William Hailstone and Sam Brighouse of the same place of the second 
party, Witnesseth 

That the said part of the First part for and in consideration of the said parties of the Second part 
having given up to him all their individual interest in and to Section No 3 of sub-division of Lot 
1 85, Group 1 as marked and numbered on the official plan or survey of rural lands of the district 
of New Westminster in the Province of British Columbia, and more fully described in a deed of 
conveyance of even date herewith, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, doth grant, 
bargain, sell, release, convey and confirm free from encumbrance unto the said parties of the 
Second part, their heirs executors administrators and assigns forever all the estate, right, title and 
interest legal and equitable of him the said part of the First part in and to those pieces or parcels 
of land containing respectively one hundred and eighty three and one third acres (183 1/3) or a 
total of 366 2/3 acres more or less and marked sections No. 1 and No. 2 on plan of subdivision of 
aforesaid Lot 1 85 Group 1 , or otherwise being two thirds of, and on the eastern side of said Lot 
1 85. Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or 
in anywise appertaining to have and to hold the said premises unto and to the use of the said 
parties of the Second part, their heirs and assigns forever and the said party of the First part 
hereby for himself his heirs executors administrators and assigns will at any time hereafter 
whenever required, but at the expense of the party requiring it, make, do or execute all such 
further deed or other assurance for further or better assuring the premises hereby demised to the 
use of the said parties of the Second part, their heirs and assigns as by them shall be reasonably 

IN WITNESS whereof the said parties hereunto have set their hands and seals the day and year 
first above written. 

John Morton 
William Hailstone 
Sam Brighouse 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of John Brough" 


The Location 


Hut and Clearances 

of the 

First Residents of Burrard Inlet 

John Morton, Sam Brighouse and William Hailstone 

Preemptors of "The Brickmaker's Claim" 

being District Lot 185 

now known as 

The "West End" 

Vancouver, B.C. 

Excerpts from statements, written and verbal, made by Mrs. Ruth Morton, relict of John Morton, Esquire, 
by Joseph Morton, Esquire, his only son, and other pioneers of Granville and Vancouver, as to the exact 
together with photostatic copies, etc. of documentary evidence. 

Compiled by 

Major J. S. Matthews, V.D. 




The remarks which follow were made to me during 1931 and 1932 by early residents of Vancouver, all of 
whom have personal knowledge, and all of whom are living, August 1932. 

Vancouver, August 1932 

J.S. Matthews, Archivist. 

Joseph Morton 

John Morton's only son, born New Westminster, 1881. Conversation, 3 March 1932. Also see Early 
Vancouver, Vol. 1, Matthews. 

"I was walking down Seaton Street, now Hastings Street, with Father one day about 1 905 or earlier. We 
had met downtown and were going home together, when Father halted, and we peered over a rail fence 
onto a vacant lot. He pointed his finger and said, 'Do you see that little knoll? That was where we built our 
cabin.' Note carefully, he said, 'That was where we built our cabin,' not 'where / built my cabin.' The 
location was where the Blue Ribbon Tea people, Gaits, now have their tea and coffee warehouse, at that 
time, vacant land. To the west of where we stood, probably 50 or 100 feet, there can be seen today the 
ruins of the basement walls of the old Williams and Parker Brewery on the western bank of the ravine; the 
'knoll' was on the eastern bank. A narrow, disused, old wagon road came up, somehow, between the 
brewery and the knoll." 

Mrs. Ruth Morton 

Relict of John Morton, and now of Montrose Apartments, West 12 th Avenue, Vancouver, and, at the 
opening of the Burrard Bridge, 1 July 1932, a guest of the City. Conversation 13 May 1932. Also see 
"Here before the Fire," Letters, 1931 . 

In June 1 884, my husband and I came over on the stage from New Westminster with the intention 
of my seeing the white sand beach [now English Bay Beach] but we could not get a seaworthy 
row boat, so did not get there. Whilst my nephew, Edmund Ogle, and I were waiting on the beach 
at Gastown for Mr. Morton, in front of us was a sow digging up clams, and a crow hopping in front 
of her getting a meal from bits of the clams. We saw the English Church [St. James'] and had 


lunch at George Black's [Hastings Town site] and then went back to New Westminster on the 
stage, and from there up to Mission to our farm. 

[signed] Ruth Morton 

13 May 1932. 

Note: Mrs. Morton told me that she had never actually seen Mr. Morton's clearing. She is the stepmother 
of Joseph Morton. 

William Dalton 

Chairman, Board of Vancouver Public Library. Conversation July 1932. 

"John Morton told me that his cabin was where the Blue Ribbon tea people are located. Sam told me he 
paid for his preemption in scrip given him by the government for building roads, etc.; not in cash." 

Dr. Henri E. Langis, M.D. 

Pioneer C.P.R. medical officer. He reached Victoria on 15 July 1884, and Granville in 1885, and is now, 
1932, resident at Parksville, B.C. Conversation, see Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931. 

"The John Morton-Brighouse clearing had just one shack. A man named Proctor, or Porter, was living in 
it — he married an Indian, and was, about 1883 or 1884, making spars for the British Admiralty. 'Spratt's 
Ark' was at the foot of Burrard Street, and the way to get to the big tree, so well known in Vancouver by 
the photograph "Vancouver Lots for Sale," and which was located up near the corner of Granville and 
Georgia streets, was to take a boat at Andy Linton's boathouse at the foot of Carrall Street, row to 
Spratt's Ark, and walk up the skid road which slanted from there up to where the Hotel Vancouver now 

W.D. Haywood 

Of Rogers Building, Vancouver, formerly of Commercial Hotel. Conversation in July 1932. 

"I came to Granville in September 1 885. John Morton's place was just a bit of a clearing, perhaps half an 
acre. The ravine crossed Pender Street West where the house on the south side, now numbered 1 030 
Pender Street West, stands. I remember very distinctly the filling in of the hollow when the house was 
built in 1890." 

Note: this house stands on all or part of Lot 4, Block 2. 

Yorkshire and Canadian Trust, Ltd. 

Conversation, 22 August 1932. 

"We are having trouble with a house on Lot 16, Block 1. It is sinking; this map explains it." (City of 
Vancouver, 1886.) "The house must stand on the filled in ravine." 

(Formerly) Mrs. Alexander Strathie 

Of 1 1 50 Alberni Street, now Mrs. Emily Eldon, relict of Mr. Eldon, formerly Superintendent, Stanley Park. 
She arrived Vancouver 1 March (about) 1886. Conversation 16 June 1932. 

"It had been our custom — my husband's" (Mr. Strathie) "and mine — to take a walk on Sunday afternoons. 
Frequently we went west along the narrow bush trail which led from Gastown to Coal Harbour and 
English Bay. The trail led 'up the hill' along the top of the 'Bluff,' and continued on between what is now 
Pender Street West and Hastings Street West, past John Morton's old clearing, just a little clearing, less 
than an acre, with a board shack big enough for two people. The trail through the trees was so narrow, 
and lined with bushes so close and thick, that a woman had to draw in her skirts close around her legs." 

John Morton's clearing. 

"Morton's clearing was only a small place; just about half an acre or so," said Mr. W.D. Haywood, formerly 
of the Commercial Hotel. 


"I came here in 1885, in September 1885. The ravine or gulch of which you speak as first shown in 
Corporal Turner's map of his survey of Burrard Inlet in 1863, was located, well, it crossed Pender Street 
West where the house now numbered 1030 West Pender Street stands; because, I distinctly remember 
the hollow being filled in when the house was built in 1 890. I think it, the house, is on lot four, block two, 
D.L. 185. 

"On the southwest corner of Pender and Burrard streets there is a little lane running north and south — just 
fifty or sixty feet west, where the Pender Street sidewalk bends; the house is the second from the little 
lane, second to the west, and is the one which stands on the filled in gulch; it is not more than sixty feet or 
so from the bend; Frank Holt will tell you all about that location; he has lived there for thirty-five years or 

JSM,28 July 1932. 

John Morton's clearing. Spratt's Oilery. 

Frank Holt, now aged 77, who came to Vancouver on or about 1 3 July 1 886, a month after the fire, and 
now lives at the back of 1 003 Hastings Street West, in an old house on the edge of the cliff — a sheer drop 
of thirty or forty feet from his verandah, which faces north, to the C.P.R. tracks directly beneath, that is, a 
few feet from the Quadra Club building, and about sixty-six feet from the western wall of the Marine 
Building. He has lived in this same house for thirty-eight years. 

"This old house was built by Spratts of Victoria in 1875, and was used in early days as a bunk house for 
the employees working in the oilery operated by Spratts. Come outside, and I will show you the charred 
boards" (on northern front); "these charcoal marks were caused by the fire" (1 1 August 1 886) "which 
destroyed Spratt's Oilery, and nearly destroyed the old house. I moved the old house some years ago; it 
used to be 66 feet east of here. This house is actually on the C.P.R. right of way, but the garage people in 
the front there let me have access. 

"When I came here about a month after the fire, 1 3 July 1 886 I came, the only clearing out this way was 
just west of Burrard Street, from about Burrard Street as it is now to the old brewery on the edge of the 
creek; the brewery was not there then; nothing. The clearing went back a few yards from the northern 
side; went back about as far as Seaton Street" (Hastings Street West.) "The edge of the cliff was the 
northern limit of Morton's clearing. Beyond these boundaries was stumps and fallen trees as far south as 
about Pendrill Street, and from there on westwards was pretty solid forest. There was a trail along the top 
of the Bluff, a trail through fallen timber, leading towards the westwards and Coal Harbour, about as far as 
Broughton Street, where it entered the trees. 

"The little clearing — about an acre, more or less — was very clearly outlined, because it was in grass; no 
fruit trees or fences. The cliff bent back to about where the Blue Ribbon Tea Company's warehouse is 
now, and on the corner, as it were, above the creek, was a little cottage. Another building stood on the 
northern end of, I think, Lot 4, and behind it was a big building afterwards used as a mattress factory. 
Another cottage with a fence about it stood on Lot 3; all were used by Spratts. The approach to Spratt's 
Oilery was exactly where we sit now. At that time the waters of the inlet came right up to the base of this 

JSM, 15 August 1932. 

John McDougall 

Now, 1 932, of Quesnel, B.C., known to pioneers by the sobriquet "Chinese McDougall," who cleared the 
forest off 440 acres of the "West End," etc. Letter received 8 August 1932 from Quesnel. 

"Mr. Morton's house and garden was on the shore directly south of Deadman's Island. It was used for a 
logging camp after his time; it was my camping place whilst slashing down the timber on the 440 acre 
Brighouse estate in the months of April and May 1886 (?) 1887." 

W.H. Gallagher 

Formerly Alderman, and one of the two known survivors of those present at the first meeting of the City 
Council, 1886. See Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931. 


"Sam Brighouse and John Hailstone, they kept their cows out on a ranch on the cliff at the foot of, and to 
the west a little, of Burrard Street, overlooking the inlet. 

"I have been up at John Morton's, up on old Seaton Street. 

"He had a small piece of land cleared there; an acre or so partly cleared, and had some cows. 

"Brighouse and Hailstone wanted the land for their cows; that was what they preempted D.L. 1 85 for; they 
had no idea there would ever be a Vancouver. 

"Brighouse himself told me what they wanted the land for. He preempted it because he did not want 
others bothering him. He also told me that when the man who was surveying it was laying out the 
boundaries, the man said to him, 'I will put in the island (Deadman's Island) in your preemption for five 
dollars.' Hailstone, so Brighouse told me, said, 'Don't give it him; we've enough stuff now.'" 

Frank H. Holt 

Resident in 1932, so he states, since 1894 — 38 years in the same house, now numbered 1003 Hastings 
Street West, standing on the extreme edge of the cliff, with a sheer drop to C.P.R. tracks beneath, and 
which house he states was formerly one of the buildings connected with Spratt's Ark. The tide formerly 
washed the foot of this cliff. Conversation, 1 5 August 1 932. 

"When I came to Vancouver, about a month after The Fire,' 13 June 1886, the only clearing in the West 
End was just west of what is now Burrard Street — from there to the creek and back from the shore to 
about the north side of Seaton Street; just a little clearing in extent about one acre, more or less, clearly 
defined because it was all in grass; no fruit trees or garden. The bit of cleared land sloped steeply, but it 
was not a cliff, down to the shore on the north and the creek on the west. High up on the corner where the 
slope bent back up the creek was a cottage, about four rooms. What its early history had been I do not 
know, but it was used then in connection with Spratt's Oilery, which was on the water to the east of it. 
That cottage, whatever cottage it was, was on the top of the slope and overlooked the inlet." 

Note: nothing has been revealed at this date to show whether this was the original cabin, or any part of it. 

R. Kerr Houlgate 

To whom Mrs. Ruth Morton, now very elderly, entrusts the management of her private interests. 
Conversation, 19 August 1932. 

"I have read Mr. Joseph Morton's narration of March 3 rd from end to end twice over. My experience has 
been that Joe's memory for historical detail is quite good, and, so far as I have knowledge, the narrative is 
all right, except perhaps that you might see the Yorkshire and Canadian Trust, who may perhaps verify 
what the amount of the estate was. 

"Mr. Williams of Williams and Barker of the old Red Cross Brewery was a close friend of mine, and I often 
used to go down there to visit him. The exact location of the road Joe speaks of is difficult to explain. The 
bank dropped down to the creek bottom quite a distance; it was a big hole in the ground, and the path up 
from the bottom, I think, at first wound up on the western side, then crossed over to the eastern, and in 
that way ascended the steep slope. A lot of water came down that creek; there was a small dam. 

"John Morton was a dour Yorkshireman, solid, very devout, and of quite determined character." 

22 AUGUST 1932. 

"Mr. E.B. Morgan was not himself the executor of Mr. Morton's will, but the North West Trust Company, a 
British Columbia trust company with which he was associated, and which became insolvent in 1 91 5, 
when the Courts appointed us as executors. 

"Mr. Joseph Morton's statements as to the probated value is about right. The Baptist Church does not get 
the one hundred thousand dollars until Mrs. Ruth Morton's death; they did not get a previous one hundred 


"I am afraid there was some strange administration until the estate came into our hands; it was in an 
awful tangle when we took it over." 

City of Vancouver, Building Dept. 

Record of building permits issued. 

"8 th July, 1905. G.F. and J. Gait, Lot 6, Block 1 , $21,000. 

"1 7 th August, 1 91 7. Addition, west twenty feet, Lot 6, Block 1 , $1 7,000." 

Note: prior to 1 January 1928, the firm known as Blue Ribbon Limited, tea merchants, etc., was known as 
G.F. and J. Gait, tea merchants and vendors of the "Blue Ribbon" brand, well known throughout Canada. 

Copy of letter dated 18 August 1932, received from Blue Ribbon Limited, Vancouver, 

Dear Major Matthews: 

Replying to your letter of August 12 th . We have checked carefully the description of our property 
as outlined in your letter and find that your information is correct, excepting that our building on 
Lot 6 is 56' wide instead of 66'. Our portion, therefore of Lot 6 is the west 56'. 

The property is described as Lots 6 & 7, Blk 1 ., D.L. 1 85. It is now owned by Blue Ribbon Limited, 
as G.F. and J. Gait sold out their interests to this Company over four years ago. 

The first part of our building was put up in 1 905, and the addition of 20' to the west, in 1 91 7. All of 
our building stands on Lot 6, Lot 7 being at the present time vacant. 

Yours very truly, 


per Fred T. Moore. 

Narration, Joseph Morton, Esq., 2116 York Street, Kitsilano, to Major J. S. 
Matthews, Archivist, 3 March 1932. 

(Proof subsequently corrected and approved by Mr. Morton.) 

"Father has told me, upon many occasions, the story of how fate brought him to Vancouver. I am his only 
son. This is how it was. 

"Father was born in Yorkshire, at a little village called Salandine Nook, three miles from Huddersfield, 
famous for its pottery. Father was a potter, so was his father. The firm of Joseph Morton and Sons, that is, 
my grandfather and his sons, still functions. You will see later how this avocation of Father's had much to 
do with his subsequent fortunes and his establishment at Vancouver. 

"Father was born on the 1 6 th April 1 834, so that he must have been about 27 or 28 when he left England 
for the Crown Colony of British Columbia on that famous leviathan of the nineteenth century, the 
paddlewheel steamer Great Eastern, the vessel which laid the first Atlantic cable. It seems to me that 
Father told me that he came out on her on her first trip, but I don't see how that could be, as I think she 
made her first trip in 1 858. Anyway, he came to British Columbia in the spring of 1 862. 

"Sam Brighouse and Father were first cousins, travelling together to make their fortunes in the Cariboo 
goldfields, and they met William Hailstone, also on his way to the Cariboo, on the Great Eastern. Father 
has never intimated to me that they knew Hailstone before they met on the ship. 

"The three travelled together to New York and from there by way of St. Louis and the Union Pacific 
Railway, then under construction, down to the coast to Panama. Father told me that, whilst travelling on 
the Union Pacific, it was necessary upon one occasion to stop the train for a quarter of an hour to let the 
buffalo pass, or rather, to work through them. The buffalo were crossing the track and were strung out as 


far as he could see in all directions. The buffalo must have been travelling north as it was springtime. He 
also told me that, whilst waiting at St. Louis, they were walking together one evening and saw a man lying 
in the street gutter. Examination proved he was dead. They stayed near and presently drew the attention 
of a passing stranger, who remarked, 'Oh, that's nothing; he's only a nigger.' 

"They made two trips together to the Cariboo; one in 1 862, and one the next year, each time walking the 
whole distance 400 miles in and 400 miles out both trips, 1600 miles in all. I presume they took a boat to 
Yale, but what I do not quite understand is how they took up land and held it and at the same time went to 
the Cariboo as well, for a preemption requires someone to live upon it. They had not the means to travel 
to the Cariboo by stage. Father told me that while they were on their way in on one of their trips, I do not 
know which one, he took a little pail to get some fresh water for supper from the lake, and just as he was 
dipping the pail into the water, noticed a corpse in the water. After examining it he moved off to one side 
to another place to get some clean water. He got his water, took it back to their bivouac, told his two 
companions of what he had seen, and they all returned to the corpse to view it. 

"It was then noticed that the head had been smashed in, so they looked around for further evidence, 
finding two more bodies, three in all, all with their heads smashed in. There was a lot of lawlessness 
about at that time. 

"Father also remarked to me on how they slept in the snow, and how, in the morning, the first one up 
would see two mounds of snow on the ground, 'like a graveyard,' to use Father's own words. 

"On the second trip out Mr. Hailstone got a job as blacksmith's helper, and remained behind, I believe, at 

The famous journey to Burrard Inlet. 

"I feel quite sure it was before they made the first trip into the Cariboo that Father made the celebrated 
journey to Burrard Inlet. He has told me that they were looking around New Westminster. They were 
recent arrivals, all things were strange to them, they were curious, looking at anything and everything, 
and waiting to start out for the Cariboo. 

"One day Father wandered past a cobbler's shop in New Westminster and saw a piece of coal in the 
window. He entered, and was told by the cobbler that an Indian had brought it to him wrapped in a 
blanket. Possibly the Indian had heard of the coal at Nanaimo, knew that the White Man was interested; 
perhaps he had seen coal used by the Royal Engineers in New Westminster. 

"Father's interest was excited. As a potter he knew that certain kinds of clay are found near coal. The 
cobbler promised to locate the Indian, and soon after the Indian and Father were brought together in New 

"An arrangement was made for the Indian to guide Father to the coal deposit, and so they started off one 
day and came by forest trail to the head of False Creek. Just what trail they took I do not know; there 
must have been many trails through the forest known to the Indians, and, from what you tell me John 
McDougall says, the growth of trees was so prolific over that country that the tops shut out the light, and 
there was very little growth of any sort near the ground. Anyway, Father told me the Indian led him to the 
head of False Creek, that they then skirted the head of False Creek, and after that cut through the trees 
to the Inlet, somewhere about Carrall Street now, and the Indian got a canoe. The Indian showed Father 
the coal seam, but whether the one at the foot of Burrard Street or the one at Prospect Point, or both, I do 
not know. Father told me he did not think much of the coal. 

"You must remember that, as the years pass, the locations of places to which names are applied change 
a little. For instance, the head of False Creek today is a very different place to that which Father and the 
Indian circled around, which was at the foot of the Grandview slopes. Then again, the Coal Harbour of 
today is a mere section of the Coal Harbour of 1 862 or 1 863. What prompted the Indian to take Father out 
of the First Narrows I have no knowledge, but whatever it was, they went out of the Narrows in the canoe 
and circumnavigated the peninsula. Perhaps it was that the tide was rushing out, and it was easier for 
them to come back to English Bay than to re-enter the Narrows; that would be quite like an Indian. 
Anyway, the facts are that they went out of the Narrows and clear around until they finally landed on the 
English Bay bathing beach at the foot of Denman Street. 


"Father has distinctly told me many times that it was near the foot of the present Denman Street. It is quite 
reasonable he should know, for, as you yourself recollect, the sand of the English Bay bathing beach 
was, until quite recent years, but a very short strip of perhaps no more than one hundred yards. 

"They jumped ashore from the canoe, and the Indian then began to behave strangely. He pulled the 
canoe high up on the beach and into the bushes, led off on a trail into the woods, and beckoned Father to 
follow. Father demurred, and stood still on the sand. He had no knowledge of Chinook at that time, so, 
gesticulating, he pointed to the sun, suggestive that it was getting late and time they were getting back to 
New Westminster. 

"The Indian was obdurate, and Father had nothing to do but to follow him. To his astonishment, after a 
short walk, they arrived back on Burrard Inlet. The Indian was saving the long trip back around the 
peninsula. Just what happened before they got home again to New Westminster I do not at this moment 
recall having been told. 

"Father next informed Sam Brighouse and Mr. Hailstone, and persuaded them to come back with him and 
see the fine piece of land with a natural harbour. He was struck with the site, with the beauty of the spot 
with the sea on one side and a magnificent natural harbour on the other. In the land and its location more 
than in the coal and the clay, neither of which impressed him greatly, was his greatest interest." 

The "Three Greenhorn Englishmen." 

"Father told me that when some of the New Westminster people heard that they had agreed to purchase 
or preempt the land at one dollar per acre, payable to the government, that the three of them were 
dubbed the 'three greenhorn Englishmen,' and some people enjoyed a great laugh at their expense. Of 
course, the land was covered with dense forest, some was swampy, and it was twelve miles out in the 
woods without access save by trail through the trees. 

"The original boundary of the Morton-Brighouse-Hailstone area was, on the eastern boundary, the 
western side of what is now Burrard Street, and extended north and south from water to water. The 
western boundary was the present Stanley Park. Father related to me that they were told that they were 
entitled to a preemption of 160 acres each, that if they staked out too little it would be their own fault, and 
that they could not come back for more, but that on their western boundary they could go as far as the 
Naval Reserve, now Stanley Park, only. Ultimately they got in all about 540 acres, or 180 instead of 160 
acres each. My understanding is that they took up the land in 1 862; certain it is that Father had some sort 
of a cabin at the foot of Burrard Street in March 1863." (Interjection: now in the shadow of the most 
pretentious building in Vancouver, the Marine Building, 22 stories high, 541 feet above C.P.R. tracks. 
"True enough," said Mr. Morton.) 

"Well, the three of them arranged with the Government that one of them could live in the cabin and that 
his residence would qualify for the whole three. That arrangement allowed the other two to go out to work; 
they were all poor. They took it turn about, a month at a time each. In later years they had a milk ranch up 
there, and sold milk in Granville." 

Incidents with the Indians. 

"Father told me of an exciting incident which took place during one of his turns to stay on the preemption. 

"One morning he was aroused from sleep — he was alone at the time — by a tremendous shindy. Listening, 
he made out that it was the noise of Indians, and he thought for sure they were going to clean him off the 
Inlet, scalp him, kill him, do something to get rid of him. He slipped out of bed and dressed quickly, put his 
gum boots in the bed and covered them up, and, arranging the bedclothes to make the bed look as 
though it was occupied, someone sleeping in it, sneaked out into the bushes to await developments. 

"Nothing happened, but the big shindy continued in full force, kyhying, jabbering and yelling in loud 
Chinook in a very excited manner. Then, out of curiosity, he went through the bush to investigate all the 

"Going down to the head of Coal Harbour he saw there a great crowd of Indians excitedly dancing, 
throwing up their arms, and yelling about the place where now is the 'Zoo,' at the entrance to Stanley 
Park. Hanging to a tree and swinging and swaying, he could see a body, and approaching more closely, 


keeping well out of sight and well concealed, got so close that he was able to discern that the swinging 
body was that of a klootchman (Indian Woman). 

"His curiosity was satisfied, but not knowing the reason, he immediately headed for New Westminster and 
reported the incident to the authorities. They in turn investigated and brought some of the Indians to 
Westminster to give evidence. 

"The Indians said that the Indian woman had killed another woman's papoose and that they thought it 
was a fit instance in which to exercise the King Georgeman's law, so they had taken her and hanged her. 

"They were warned not to do it again; that the King George men would attend to that in the future, and 
that they, the Indians, would be severely punished if they took the administration of justice into their own 

"Another incident: I don't know where it was, but it was soon after they came out and before they learned 
to talk Chinook. They had a cabin somewhere that they had built themselves; I presume it was the cabin 
on their preemption, but am not absolutely positive. Anyway, one day an Indian came along and brought 
with him two young women. They did not know much about the habits of Indians, and were very 
suspicious of the visitors. I do not know if all three preemptors were together, but anyway there was 
someone with my father at the time. The Indian and the two klootchmen approached the cabin and 
started to talk Chinook. They did not understand the Indians and could not make the Indians understand 
them. They were sitting on a form or bench outside the cabin. This may not be exact but it is so near as I 
recall it. The Indians were trying to impart some information but could make no headway, so at last, how 
they managed it I don't know, but the Indians got them to leave the form and set it out a few paces from 
the cabin wall. Then the two Indian girls started bouncing about, jumping in the air backwards and 
forwards over the form like two wild things, and they could jump like deer. This went on for about fifteen 
minutes with the White Men very much puzzled, not understanding what it all meant. Eventually the girls 
tired themselves out and had to give up the performances. Neither succeeded in making themselves 
understood, and by and by the Indians walked off in disgust. 

"When Father made enquiries as to the meaning of such a peculiar performance the old timers, with 
much merriment, told him the Indian was simply trying to hire out a servant, one who was young and 
supple, and who proved it by her agility. 

"Another incident afterwards was when my father and the two others had more or less overcome the 
difficulties of speaking Chinook. A Yorkshireman came out to New Westminster and made their 
acquaintance, Jim Holroyd by name, and was staying with them at their cabin on Burrard Inlet. Holroyd, 
later of Victoria, of course knew nothing of Chinook, but had read a great deal about the scalping 
proclivities of the North American Indian. 

"There was a grindstone set out in front of the cabin for grinding axes and tools, and as my father and the 
others were very friendly with the Indians, the Indians were allowed to use it, a privilege which they 
appreciated. Early one morning before anyone was out of bed a noise was heard outside the cabin, and 
Holroyd asked somewhat anxiously, 'What's that? What's that?' Father replied, 'Don't pay attention; I 
expect it's some of those Indians around. Go to sleep.' But no more sleep for Mr. Holroyd if Indians were 
in the vicinity. He got out of bed and got ready for action. He opened the door about an inch, peeped out, 
and saw the ugliest looking Siwash with an axe in his hand standing beside the grindstone. The Siwash 
grinned, which made matters worse; it was enough to scare any greenhorn from Yorkshire. Holroyd 
slammed the door and bolted it and called out to Father, 'Indians, John, and they've got their tomahawks 
and are ba'an going to scalp us.' Knowing that there was no danger, Father smiled and said to Jim, 
'They're only going to grind their axes.' But Holroyd was not so sure and had made up his mind that there 
was going to be no axe grinding by savages while he was lying in bed. His faith in Father's assurances 
was completely outbalanced by the blood-curdling yarns he had read. He got quite excited and said to 
Father, 'What have I got to say to those fellows? They've got to go.' Father said, 'Open the door and say, 
"Mika Clattawah," which in Chinook means "Go away."' Holroyd opened the door about one inch, peeped 
through the crack, and roared with the full force of his lungs, 'Michael, Clatter away, damn thee.' The 
Indians enjoyed his speech immensely; they grinned still more and went on grinding." 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_027 


Sale of the "City of Liverpool," i.e. "West End." 

"The details of how my father and his two comrades afterwards divided the property I do not know, but I 
do know that the C.P.R. got one lot in every three. It was surveyed and set out in lots before it was 
deeded to the C.P.R., then each of the three took his own section, minus those for the C.P.R., and every 
third lot was deeded to the C.P.R." 

The knoll. 

"I was walking down Seaton Street, now Hastings Street West, with Father one day about 1 905 or earlier. 
We had met downtown and were going home to his residence at 1 1 51 Denman Street together, and for 
some reason unknown to me now we had gone down Seaton Street on our way. Father halted, and we 
peered over a rail fence onto a vacant lot. He pointed his finger and said, 'Do you see that knoll? That is 
where we built our cabin.' Be careful to note that he said, 'where we built our cabin,' not 'where / built my 
cabin'; I recall his words very distinctly. The location of the knoll is where the Gait people, now the Blue 
Ribbon firm, have their tea warehouse, 1 043 Hastings Street West. On the other bank of the gully, the 
west bank, you can still see the ruins of the basement walls of the old Williams and Barker Brewery, and 
at that time there was an old, narrow, disused wagon track which led up the hill between the brewery and 
the knoll." 

Family genealogy. 

"Father was born on April 1 6 th , 1 834, and married in England to my mother, Jane Ann Bailey, born at Old 
Lindley, near Salandine Nook, Yorkshire, about 1 878. She was the sister of James Bailey, Councillor and 
Justice of the Peace at Blackpool, and of Sam Bailey, tea merchant of Blackpool, with whom she was in 
business partnership, a partnership which she retained until her death. A daughter, Lizzie, was born to 
the union in 1879 at Blackpool, Lancashire. In 1880 Father returned to New Westminster, and Mother 
came with him, and I was born in New Westminster on the first of February 1 881 . Two days later Mother 
died, and was buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery, Sapperton. My sister is now Mrs. W.E.A. Thornton, of 
Sardis, B.C. 

"At the time of Mother's death Father was in limited financial circumstances, and did manual labour such 
as digging ditches on Lulu Island, for which I am told he obtained government scrip which went to pay for 
the preemption, and also 'peddled' milk on a milk round in which, I understand, he had an interest. Under 
these circumstances it was necessary for we two children to be taken care of. My sister was placed in the 
Roman Catholic Convent at New Westminster, and I was placed in a private family. Father purchased a 
farm at Mission in 1884, and shortly afterwards, married again to Miss Ruth Hunt, now his widow, and still 
living. There is no issue of the second marriage. 

"The farm at Mission, purchased in 1884 from a Mr. Passmore, was 363 acres of land on the north bank 
of the Fraser River and immediately west of the C.P.R. Fraser River bridge. It was used for general 
farming. I have heard my stepmother say that on the night of 13 June 1886, they could see in the sky the 
reflection of the burning of Vancouver. I was but five at the time, and have no recollection of it. I left 
Mission in 1 898; Father followed in 1 901 and came to Vancouver but retained the farm, which his 
executors sold after his death. 

"After leaving Mission he lived at 1 1 51 Denman Street, leading a retired life. Then, at the end of 1 91 1 , 
moved to his new home in the 1900 block Pendrill Street where he died the following April. It has been 
stated in the press that Father went back to England. This is not true. He made several trips to England, 
but they were all business trips of limited duration. One trip was that of 1 888 when we all went, and came 
back in 1892, to find that the C.P.R. had built a bridge across the Fraser River at Mission, close to our 
farm, during our absence. His last trip was in 1905. 

"Father died in Vancouver on April 18 th , 1912, aged 78 years and 2 days. During his last moments he 
expressed a wish to me that his body should be cremated. At that time the first crematorium in Vancouver 
was under construction, but not completed, and it was necessary to take the body to Seattle for 
cremation. The ashes were afterwards deposited in an urn and then placed in a niche in the Centre and 
Hanna Columbarium Room, where they have remained for the last twenty years. 

"His will, dated 22 May 1911, was probated in June 1912 at over seven hundred and sixty-nine thousand 
dollars. The will left one hundred thousand dollars to the Baptist Educational Board of British Columbia 


together with some seven acres of land in South Vancouver. In 1 91 he laid the cornerstone of the First 
Baptist Church on Burrard Street, Vancouver. He also set aside the equivalent of eleven thousand dollars 
to build the Baptist church since known as the Ruth Morton Memorial Church, South Vancouver, and the 
cornerstone of which was laid by my stepmother, Mrs. Ruth Morton. 

"Sam Brighouse married a Spanish lady of noted beauty, the widow of Captain Pritchard. Michael 
Brighouse Wilkinson was a nephew who, to conform to his uncle's will, changed his name to Michael 
Wilkinson Brighouse." (He died nine days after this narrative was written — 12 March 1932.) 

"William Hailstone married, sent his earnings to his wife in England. Then came a cable saying that she 
had died. Her will left her property to her two daughters, thus depriving her husband of his own 
earnings — a matter which was afterwards, I understand, adjusted. I heard afterwards that he fell down 
stairs and died of a broken neck." (Hailstone was in 1 895 living in Rose Villa, Quay Road, Bridlington, 
Yorkshire. He had returned and was personally known to J.M. Heselton, 2248 East 25 th Avenue, 
Vancouver. The two daughters were then about 12 or 15.) 

"All three pioneers died very wealthy, and within about thirteen months of each other. Though all married, 
one son only was given to them; myself. My wife was Miss Florence Appleyard, second daughter of Mr. 
C.H. Appleyard, Town Councillor, Mirfield, Yorkshire. We have no children." 

All above as recounted to me. 

J.S. Matthews, August 1932. 

The route of John Morton's first trip to Burrard Inlet, "Westminster to West 

See The First Settlers on Burrard Inlet and Early Vancouver, Vol. 2. 

Narration of conversation between Joseph Morton, son of John Morton, and Major J.S. Matthews, V.D., 
City Archivist, 3 March 1932, wherein Joseph Morton states: 

"The Indian and Father were brought together in New Westminster. An arrangement was made for the 
Indian to guide Father to the coal deposits, and they started off one day and came by forest trail to the 
head of False Creek. Just what trail they took I do not know." ... "Anyway, Father told me the Indian led 
him to the head of False Creek, and after that cut through the trees to the Inlet, somewhere about Carrall 
Street now, and the Indian got a canoe" ... "What prompted the Indian to take Father out of the Narrows, I 
have no knowledge, but whatever it was, they went out of the Narrows in the canoe, and circumnavigated 
the peninsula" ... "They finally landed on the English Bay bathing beach at the foot of Denman Street ... 
They jumped ashore" ... "He" (the Indian) "pulled the canoe high up on the beach, and into the bushes, 
led off on a trail into the woods, and beckoned Father to follow" ... "To his" (Morton's) "astonishment, after 
a short walk, they arrived back on Burrard Inlet" ... etc. 

Morton's probable route from New Westminster. 

It is assumed to have been via the Douglas Street trail (now Douglas Road) to Burnaby Lake, thence via 
Still Creek, Trout Lake and China Creek to the mouth of the latter at the old southeast corner of False 
Creek, now approximately the foot of St. Catherine's Street. 

And for these reasons. 

1. H.M.S. Plumper's chart, No. 1922, 1859-1860, shows an unsurveyed trail from New Westminster to a 
large unsurveyed lake known to exist, now Burnaby Lake. 

2. Excerpt, Victoria Colonist, 4 July 1859: "The pleasure walk" (political sarcasm) "to Burnaby Lake is 
completed." (Geo. Green quotation.) 

3. Geo. Green quotation: "In February 1861, John Murray and Daniel Kelso contracted to open up two 
miles of Douglas Street Road" ... "The work was finished by July." 


Excerpt, Columbian, 25 June 1862: "We hear great complaints from settlers on this road" ... "the 
prospect of securing an abundance of coal on Coal Harbour has caused a flood of applications for 
preemptions there." 

4. Excerpt, Preemption Record, 205, 17 October 1860, 250 acres, Col. R.C. Moody, R.E.: "On False 
Creek, near the trail, to include clear land around the two ponds, and abut on the upper end of False 


One of these "two ponds" was no doubt Trout Lake, and the other a much smaller one, now dried 
up, which straddled what is now Renfrew Street, at a point where the Great Northern Railway 
crosses that street in Blocks 35 and 36, and shown in a map issued in 1906 by the Provincial 
Government for use at the sale of government lands at auction by Messrs. Rankin and Ford, 
Auctioneers, 1906. 

5. Excerpt, Early Vancouver, Vol. 1 , conversation with C.E. Pittendrigh, New Westminster: "There were, 
in the early days, many dried weather-whitened antlers of elk lying around Little Lake" (Deer Lake). 

Note: Indians, when travelling in the forest, naturally follow the easiest grades, and the lowest grades are 
the creek beds, and a route from Burnaby Lake to False Creek, via Still Creek, Trout Lake and China 
Creek — at the mouth of which there was an Indian clearing — would not rise more than 100 feet above sea 
level. An Indian trail from False Creek to the swamps of Trout Lake, "Renfrew Street Lake," Still Creek, 
and Burnaby Lake muskegs — in all of which elk and beaver abounded — would naturally have been used 
by Indians to bring out the heavy carcasses of meat for consumption by the hundreds, perhaps 
thousands, living in the villages east of Point Grey and Point Atkinson. The trail mentioned by Col. Moody, 
R.E., was probably an old Indian trail as well known to Indians as Kingsway is to us. 

J.S. Matthews, 14 April 1939 

Excerpt from letter, dated 26 November 1932, from Theo. Bryant, Ladysmith, 
B.C., son of Rev. Cornelius Bryant, Methodist Minister at Granville, B.C. in early 

Copied from lead pencil postscript of back of letter of 26 November 1 932 in ink. 

"You mention a place, Morton's, of 1862. 

"I may say that I was at an old log house on the edge of the woods about 1 879 or 1 880. It was towards 
Coal Harbour, as was known then. The old house was in disrepair then, but had been inhabited for some 
time, and the trees had grown into the clearing. The currants and raspberries were growing wild, and also 
the foxgloves were in bloom; it was quite a climb up the bank to the top where the old place was. I never 
had any information as to who it belonged to; perhaps it was Morton's." 

Comment on above: it undoubtedly was, for no other hut or clearing other than Morton's clearing could 
possibly have existed in that neighbourhood which could conform with the above description. 

J.S. Matthews, 1932 



3utK i<?» 


Surplus Income From West 

End Estate Will Go 

To Daughter. 

TOTAL $350,000 

By order of Mr, Justice Robertson 
In Supreme Court the surplus Income 
from the estate of John Morton goes 
to his daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Thornton, 
aged '54, of Sardis. 

Morton, who died on September 28, 
1315, owned a large portion Of the 
"West End before the advent of the 
C.P.R, At the time of his death his 
estate was valued at S772.0OO. On 
April 16, 1933, It had shrunk to 
1536.591, This has since been written 
down to 1350,000. 

The will left an annuity of $1200 to 
his wife, Mrs. Ruth Morton, aged 86, of 


Interlineations in the will by the 
Tate Mr, Morton Indicated that the 
surplus Income should not be dis- 
tributed until after the widow's death. 

After hearing argument from coun- 
sel, Mr. Justice Robertson decided 
that Mrs, Thornton did not have to 
wait for that eventuality, with the 
"result that the surplus Income from 
the wnole of the estate -will be paid to 

On Mrs. Morton's death, $100,000 1 
Is to be paid out of the estate to the I 
Baptist denomination of British Co-' 
lumbla for educational and religious 

The remainder will be divided 
among Mrs. Thornton's three children. 
She has come Into the share left to 
her brother, Joseph Morton, on his 

After his lordship decided the sur- 
plus Income Issue In favor of Mrs. 
Thornton, counsel stated that they 
did not think the court would have 
to be troubled about other points 
which they had been prepared to dis- 

One was » request of Mrs. Florence 
Morton, widow of Joseph, for pay- 
ment of a $1000 annuity, left him by 
his father: and another was a sug- 
gestion that a granddaughter. Mrs. 
Edna Ruth Rannle, should settle her 
claim for 420.000. 

Mr, R. L. Reld, K.C., was counsel 
for Mrs. Thornton, Mr, J. G. Gibson 
for the trustee, Yorkshire ic Canadian 
Trust Ltd.. Mr. J. P. Hogg for Infant 
children of Mrs. Thornton, and Mr. G. 
Roy Long for Mrs. Florence Morton. 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_028 


(Excerpts only.) 

R.R. No. 1 
Sardis, B.C. 
September 1 st 1932 

Major J. S. Matthews, V.D. 


Vancouver, B.C. 

Dear sir: 

Your letter of the 29 th of August 1 932 with data enclosed re the early settlement of Vancouver by 
my father, Mr. Brighouse, and Mr. Hailstone, received, for which I thank you very much. 

My brother, Joseph Morton, has pretty well covered the ground. I might add that I am the mother 
of four children. 

Edna Ruth, who is now married to George H. Rannie. They have one son, Floyd Norton Rannie, 
nine years old. 

A son, John Edward, recently married to Miss Evelyn Betts. 

Another daughter, Mabel Elsie, who passed about 30 th September 1928, and a daughter, Viola 
Heather, who is now attending Columbia College, Westminster. 

There are three or four incidents which might be of interest. On one of my father's trips to the 
Cariboo; on his way out he met a pack team the owner of which shod his mules, and he had two 
dozen horse shoe nails which he didn't wish to pack, so he gave them to my father. He carried 
them one day, and met another pack train going into the Cariboo, and sold the nails for four 
dollars each, $192.00, in all. 

He told me on different occasions about wanting a canoe on Coal Harbour; they bought one in 
New Westminster, and it took them two days carrying it through the woods from New 
Westminster to Coal Harbour on their backs. 

Another time, while my father was on his preemption with Hailstone and Brighouse, an Indian 
called at the door holding a salmon. Brighouse went to the door first, and could not understand 
the Chinook language. The Indian kept saying, "sit-cum-dolla," "hiash close," which meant 500 for 
the salmon. Mr. Hailstone then went out, and returned the same as Mr. Brighouse. The last to go 
was Mr. Morton, and the Indian still repeated, "sit-cum-dolla," "hiash close." My father said, "What! 
Six dollars and all my clothes for one salmon?" The sale was not made. 

(signed) Mrs. Lizzie Thornton (nee Morton) 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_029 



McCarter & Naime 

Architects and Structural Engineers 

1930 Marine Building 

Vancouver, B.C. 

September 7 th 1932. 

Major J. S. Matthews, 


Vancouver Public Library, 

Vancouver, B.C. 

Re Marine Building 


In reply to your favor of the 25 th ulto with regard to the above building. We are glad to be able to 
furnish you with the following information, which we trust may be of use to you. 

The MARINE BUILDING erected by the E.J. Ryan Contracting Company Limited for the 
Stimson's Canadian Development Company Limited, Captain J.W. Hobbs being the Vancouver 

The first sod was turned and excavation commenced after a ceremony on the morning of April 2 nd 
1929, presided over by Mayor W.H. Malkin, and attended by the Architects, Contractors, 
members of the Vancouver Board of Trade and representatives of many prominent city business 

The building is 349 feet high from the C.P.R. tracks, and 304 feet above Hastings Street 
sidewalk, has 18 storeys served by elevators and is 25 storeys from C.P.R. tracks to Observation 
Tower, and is at this time the tallest completed building west of Toronto. 

Construction of the building was completed and the building was formally opened by His Honour 
the Hon. R. Randolph Bruce on the 8 th day of October, 1930. 

The total cost of the land and building was approximately $2,500,000.00. 

The Architects and Structural Engineers for this building were Messrs. McCarter and Naime of 

Yours truly, 


per John S. Porter. 



Lands Branch 

Victoria, B.C. 

22 nd Sept. 1932. 


Please refer to File 286/73 

Attention: "Pre-emptions" 

Replying to your letter of the 1 5 th instant I enclose you herewith Photostat of the official copy of 
the application of William Hailstone, Sam Brighouse, and John Morton for the parcel of land 
afterwards surveyed as Lot 185, Group 1, New Westminster District, containing 550 acres. 

The consideration was four shillings and two pence per acre a total of £114.11.8 as shown by the 
official receipt dated 7 th December 1865 and the price was paid in scrip. 

In the District Registrar the price is given as $1 .01 per acre, and the total price of the lot being 

Your obedient servant, 

(signed) Norman Taylor 

Superintendent of Lands. 




a a 
w « 



"If.; '9H 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_030 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_031 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_032 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_033 



r— • 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_034 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_035 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_036 


John Morton of Burrard Inlet and English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., 28 June 1932. 

The attached statement, headed "John Morton, Vancouver's early pioneer," was written by his son, 
Joseph Morton, and is a carbon copy of a statement which he (Mr. Joseph Morton) requested the 
Vancouver newspapers, The Sun and The Province to publish — according to his own statement made to 
me this 28 June 1932. He delivered the statement to me at my house after, he stated, unsuccessfully 
attempting to get it published by these newspapers. 

Mr. Joseph Morton has been well known to me for many years, and he has always laboured until intense 
emotion when discussing the manner in which his father's estate was bequeathed, afterwards 
administered, and its present inaccessibility to him. He stated to me today that "all I have" is the "Morton 
Rooms," facing the beach at English Bay, that the revenue from these rooms is annually $2,460, that the 
expenses are approximately $1 ,200 per annum, and that, within a recent time, $3,000 was spent on 
repairs. He said, "You see, that does not leave much for me." And he added, "I was given this property, or 
$30,000, but was not given the option of a choice." 

Mr. Morton is not now employed, nor has he been, to my knowledge, for some years; he spends much of 
his time experimenting with machinery, etc. in his basement. Three or four (roughly) years ago, his wife 
was employed in a clerical capacity in some office, I believe a medical practitioner's. 

J.S. Matthews 

The impression might be gained from this statement that Mr. Joseph Morton's filial attachment to his 
father is or was not what might be expected of a son, but this is not the case in fact. Except when 
discussing the manner of the distribution, etc. of the estate of Mr. John Morton, his references to his 
father are such as one would naturally expect from a dutiful son, and his references to his mother — who 
died three days after his birth — are as affectionate as though he had known her. She is, to him, a sort of 
beautiful legend. 


Joseph Morton died in the Asylum for the Insane, New Westminster, eight months later, on 2 March 1933. 
He had been ailing for months; about a week before his death was taken to the general hospital, became 
violent, was sent to Westminster, and died shortly after admission. For years he never ceased to talk of 
the supposed undue influence of designing friends over his father before his father's death, and the fraud 
and manipulation of the estate after his father's death. It was an obsession. 

Memoirs and facts relating to the life and death of John Morton, 
Vancouver's Early Pioneer. 

Mr. John Morton, accompanied by his cousin Mr. Sam Brighouse and Mr. William Hailstone 
arrived in New Westminster, B.C. in the year 1862. 

Shortly afterwards they came over to Burrard Inlet and preempted from the government all the 
land situated west of what is now known as Burrard Street and extending to Stanley Park. All 
three pioneers died very wealthy and within about thirteen months of each other, Mr. Morton 
passing away on the 18 th day of April 1912. His wife, Jane Ann Morton, was the mother of his two 
children who survived him and who were Mrs. W.E.A. Thornton of Sardis, B.C. and Joseph 
Morton of 21 1 6 York Street, City. 

Mrs. Morton was formerly Miss Jane Ann Bailey of Blackpool, Lancashire, England and was the 
sister of James Bailey, Esq., Councillor and Justice of the Peace of Blackpool and she was also 
the sister of Mr. Sam Bailey, Tea Merchant of Blackpool. Mrs. Morton was also in partnership with 
her brother James in business in Blackpool which partnership she retained even during her 
married life to Mr. Morton until the time of her death in the year 1881 at New Westminster, B.C. 

She is also one of the old pioneers but apparently has been forgotten though she is still resting in 
the Odd Fellows Cemetery at Sapperton, New Westminster, B.C. It was the wealth from her 
share in her business venture in which she formerly worked and helped to build up the business 
with her brother as above related that allowed Mr. John Morton to hold onto his preemption here 


in Vancouver and which at the time cost him one hundred and eighty dollars or thereabout to 
purchase. Mrs. Morton died before the Woman's Property Act came into force and therefore Mr. 
Morton claimed her entire share in her brother's business and purchased a large farm with it at 
Mission Junction, B.C. 

Joseph Morton was three days old when his mother died and Mrs. Thornton was twenty-one 
months and one day. There is a copy of a letter written by Mr. John Morton in the possession of 
the writer of this article in which he, Mr. Morton authorizes a Mr. Passmore to collect from Mr. 
James Bailey his dead wife's interest in the business in Blackpool. Mr. Passmore was the man 
from whom Mr. Morton purchased the farm. The writer understands that Mrs. Morton's interest in 
the business was in the neighbourhood of seven hundred pounds or about the equivalent of 
thirty-five hundred dollars and that the cost of the farm was two thousand dollars or thereabouts. 
Mr. Morton was a man of limited financial circumstances at the time of his wife's death and did 
odd jobs such as digging ditches on Lulu Island and peddling milk on a milk round in which it was 
understood he had a financial interest. His daughter he placed in the Roman Catholic convent in 
New Westminster and his son he placed out to keep with a private family. He purchased the farm 
at Mission in 1884 and shortly afterwards married again. His second and last marriage was to 
Miss Ruth Mount but there were no living issue from this marriage. His will was probated at over 
seven hundred and sixty-nine thousand dollars. 

The will was dated May 22 nd 1911. The witnesses to this will were a relative (nephew) of Mrs. 
Ruth Morton his widow and a Baptist preacher, P.C. Parker by name. The will left one hundred 
thousand dollars to the Baptist Educational Board of B.C. together with over seven acres of land 
in South Vancouver. Before his death he not only laid the cornerstone of the First Baptist Church 
at the corner of Nelson and Burrard streets but set aside the equivalent of eleven thousand 
dollars to build the Baptist Church since known as the Ruth Morton Memorial in South Vancouver. 
His only son he left in shabby circumstances for life and his daughter the same until after the 
death of his widow. 

Practically all the cash from his estate disappeared soon after August the fourth 1914. The 
Yorkshire and Canadian Trust were not the trustee at that time. 

Joseph Morton (only son to represent the three pioneers.) 

Mrs. John Morton. English Bay bathing beach. Carrall Street beach. 

Memo of phone conversation, Mrs. Ruth Morton, 1190 Montrose Apartments, 11 May 1932, whilst 
arranging for her to be a guest of the city of Vancouver at the opening of the Burrard Street bridge. 

"Mr. Morton and I came over from New Westminster one summer's day in 1 884 for an outing, just my late 
husband and myself. We had to buy our tickets for the stage the previous day, and afterwards we drove 
over the old Hastings Road, then a corduroy road through the trees. Mr. Morton was anxious that I should 
see the white sand at English Bay, and we tried to hire a boat by which we could go out of the First 
Narrows, but no seaworthy boat could be procured — they were all leaky — so we did not go. He was very 
fascinated with the beauty of Vancouver as it was then. Whilst Mr. Edmund Ogle, my nephew, and I were 
waiting on the beach for Mr. Morton at Gastown, in front of us was a sow digging up the clams, and a 
crow hopping in front of her getting a meal from the bits of the clams. Edmund Ogle started a dry goods 
business in Vancouver, on Carrall and Powell streets I think, a week before the fire; all was destroyed; he 
lives in Toronto now. We saw the English church" (St. James) "and at George Black's" (Hastings) "had 
lunch, and then went back to New Westminster on the stage, and from there up to Mission to the farm. At 
the time of the fire we were living at Mission. That Sunday afternoon a cloud of black smoke hovered high 
in the air across the river; it was evident a big fire was burning somewhere. 

"I never saw Mr. Morton's clearing at the foot of Burrard Street." 


Geo. R. Gordon. Chinamen. Abbott Street. Pigs. 

Geo. R. Gordon, 30 April 1932. "After the fire, June 1886, Chinamen kept pigs in a sty at the northwest 
corner of Abbott Street. They got so big that they had to be killed before they could be got out of the 
doorway of the sty." 

"Vancouver in ruins after fire," photograph. "The white tent in the photograph of Vancouver the day after 
the fire belonged to me. It stood on the street on the southeast corner of Carrall and Cordova streets. 
Seventeen men slept in it the night of the 14/1 5 th June, and the night after, still more, because it rained. 
The stump in the foreground is on the C.P.R. right of way between Carrall and Cordova Street East, on 
the east of the track; it is still there." (1 933.) 

Query: What rebuilt Vancouver, Mr. Gordon? 

Mr. Gordon: "What rebuilt it? Why, faith; it was all we had left; Vancouver had vanished; faith and the 
character of its people. Throughout all that trying time I saw no tear or whimpering; just 'better luck next 

1 November 1932 - George Turner, Corporal, Royal Engineers. False Creek 
Bridge. North Arm Road. Capt. E.S. Scoullar. 

Capt. E.S. Scoullar, Westminster Rifles. "Corporal Turner married the widow of Sergeant McColl, whose 
name appears on Col. Moody's letter of instructions of 26 January 1 863 ordering a survey of Burrard 
Inlet. One of Sergeant McColl's children was Helen McColl, whom I married in 1 883. His eldest son was 
William, now dead, but there were descendants. Corporal Turner surveyed all the land around Vancouver 
in almost every direction." 

(Corp. Turner, R.E. was directed by Capt. Parsons, R.E. on instructions from Col. Moody, to survey 
Burrard Inlet, and did so in February and March 1863. His original field notes, drawing in his own 
handwriting, are in the Court House, Vancouver, and duplicates in the Provincial Library and Vancouver 
Public Library.) 

"The False Creek Bridge at Main Street, or Westminster Avenue, was cut long before the 'New Road' 
(Kingsway). The property around Mount Pleasant, to an extent of about six hundred acres, was owned by 
Mr. Edmonds, who was a power in political circles, and that may have had something to do with the 
building of the bridge. It led to the River Road (now Marine Drive) by the North Arm Road (now Fraser 
Avenue). Afterwards a short cut was wanted from Granville to New Westminster, and the 'New Road,' 
now Kingsway, was cut by John McDougall." 

Note: a survey of the Indian Reserves on Burrard Inlet was made by "W.S. Jemmett, 1880," and shows 
the False Creek Bridge and the road leading from Granville to it, and from it up Mt. Pleasant. This linen 
map is in the possession of Andrew Paull, Secretary, Squamish Indian Council. 


"££*/ 'lu>«ltJipvy'^U- 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_037 


Early Granville. 

Theo. Bryant, Ladysmith, 19 October 1932, writes in part: 

"Portuguese Joe." 

"There are a 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation of Portuguese Joe living on an island about fifteen miles away 
from here — it was only by accident that I got a line on these some years ago, but there was no demand 
for any enquiry re old Gastown then. I asked the son if there was any connection in the names — and the 
old store which was erected many years before we went to Granville." 

Second letter, 19 October: "I have seen a man here, Ham Hayden, who came to Vancouver '88, and I 
asked him about Portuguese Joe, and he said he knew two by that name, and I thought the man who 
lived at Deadman's Island and the point was the man who built the store in question as marked on the 
map. He says that this man lived at Pender Harbour, but of course may be dead; was living there with 
some of the progeny of those who were evicted from (squatters) Stanley Park." 

Ben Wilson. 

"There was a Ben Wilson in the '80s about Westminster, and if I remember right married to some pioneer 
family there — it is a little hazy — but he and a man went out of Port Moody after a demented logger up the 
North Arm of Burrard Inlet; one of them was shot and bled to death before they could get back to Port 
Moody for medical attention." 

"Portuguese Joe" of Gastown. 

Theo. Bryant, Ladysmith, writing 29 November 1932, says: 

"I went to Hayden here; his boathouse was at the foot of Cambie Street; about September 1 888 he 
arrived in Vancouver; came to Ladysmith about 1906. 

"Being hazy as to the Portuguese Joe — I could not see the Silva family living near here whose father went 
by that name. I find that he died about thirty years ago, so I wrote to Mr. Hosie in Victoria to see what the 
Land Department had in the matter of the sale of those original lots in Vancouver or Granville. I should 
say — I am enclosing you the letter from Mr. Hosie's dept., and you see that the both of these Portuguese 
Joes had a hand or some money in the old place. Joe Silvey is the man whose children live near here 
and was on the spot in 1868 — I haven't got the full details as to this man, but am awaiting the coming of 
the oldest son — he was quite a trader with the Indians in the vicinity of Portier Pass, commonly called 
Cowichan Gap. 

"It looks as though Gregoris Fernandez was another Portuguese Joe as that is the man who apparently 
owned the building on Lot 16 next to the Methodist church lots — I looked up an old directory of Pender 
Harbour, and find a Greek or Portuguese name of a man who runs a store there — I think it is Gonsalves 
and Dames; perhaps this is the second one. 

"I have marked the enclosed photos. Think I am nearly right in this except the place where the store was 
located at Hastings; the trees are in the way; the harbour does look small in this photo. 

"As far as the store of Portuguese Joe it was not located where it is shown on the map; it was right on the 
foreshore, in fact the slide was made of heavy plank to take goods from the scows up to the back of the 
store and on the east side steps were in use from the bank to the beach. Would say that the building you 
say is the Deighton House was a long way from the foreshore, must have been nearly on Lot 1 , and it 
was not far from the jail, and would be farther back from the street than it. The Sunnyside Hotel was 
opposite the Deighton, and it was built the rear on piles; the front was just about on earth. 

"No. 4 could not be Sullivan's as that was built about 79 when we were living there. I will clear that up for 
you in another letter. In the photo the long building on the foreshore, No. 8, was built after we left, and I 
think at the rear is the building that Johns the Customs man lived in. It has a chimney at the peak of the 
house, but I may be wrong in this as to whom the house belonged; it was not the church." 

Etc., etc. 


Sunnyside Hotel. 

Letter, 7 December, 1932. "I would presume that it" (photo of Granville, December 1885) "is east to west 
view. The large building nearest was the Sunnyside Hotel, and was quite a different building when I was a 
boy there — probably they anticipated a boom." (Note: this photo shows, indistinctly, the scaffolding 
around the Sunnyside Hotel, as though it was being enlarged or altered.) 

Maxies. George Black. Granville. Theo. Bryant. 

"Hastings, as you may know, was where the Second Narrows is, was known as Hastings and Maxies — I 
think the latter was the same place — George Black had buildings there, a stable and a skating rink — roller 
skates — the first I ever saw, and one winter day George Black came up to the old school house just as 
school came out and took all the kids in a big sleigh to Hastings for a ride, which seemed quite a ride in 
those days. We had skates free, and of course George Black was a very good man and was much 
thought of by the citizens as well as the boys and girls. His home was next to the Sunnyside, almost 
adjoining, a cottage built over the water, and almost adjoining his home was his butcher shop; it was also 
over the water at high tide, and almost opposite the jail and customs house. The whole space between 
these houses and the land which terminated about at the customs house was covered by plank. 

"Re Hastings. Hastings was the end of the inlet road, or where the road from New Westminster reached 
Burrard Inlet — the passengers got off here for Moodyville, it was only a short distance across — Jack 
Fannin was a shoemaker there, he stuffed birds, etc., and some years after he got the job of Curator at 
the New Museum at Victoria. A telegraph line was run from here across to Moodyville." 

Telegraph line to Moodyville from Hastings. Kingsway. 

"I think a man by the name of Milligan was the operator, he also was the bookkeeper for the Moodyville 
Sawmill and storekeeper. This line I think was private, and went from Hastings to New Westminster. 
While we were living there the government put in a telegraph line that came over a different route — 
probably much the same as now being followed over the False Creek, up Main Street, and then 
Kingsway. This was in use as a road in a way in those days, but nearly all traffic went via Hastings to New 
Westminster, but I remember walking on this old route to New Westminster out about four or five miles — 
the trees encroached on the road. My father used to walk this road to New Westminster and back in those 

"I don't remember any Spanish in Vancouver in those days, but there were Kanakas from the Sandwich 
Islands — we had a girl of that nationality at school — Christine Nahu — a long memory — perhaps because it 
was a hard time for me to keep ahead of her in school." 

Letter, 30 December 1932. "Your last picture of the waterfront" ("Granville, January 1886 or December 
1 885") is not as good as the first as it is on the foreshore, and the buildings on the front have cut off all 
the rear ones except two. The large building in the foreground is no doubt the Sunnyside Hotel that is 
being rushed to completion as the scaffold is still in place, then the gap to the next building leaves two 
facing the water — which should be Water Street, they seem to be quite a way along, and the furthest 
reminds me of Robertson's dwelling — he was proprietor of the 'Hole in the Wall' saloon. Since writing the 
last sentence I got a microscope and checked this over — I now see that it is a business house — and 
looked like the front of the Granville Hotel — Joe Mannion's — if so, the house on piles this side, that's the 
camera's side, would be George Black's butcher shop, but I cannot think that it would be so far away from 
the Sunnyside." 

Granville Hotel. 

"From the front of the Granville Hotel a floating wharf went out to the bay, to a float used for small craft 
and Moodyville ferry in my day. There should be boat house men in Vancouver that could let you know 
who that boat house belongs to — it was before Hayden's time there — Hayden is our boat house man 
here. The Methodist Church and parsonage is prominent in the roofline, just above the front part of the 
boat house. This is about the size of Granville when I was there as past the parsonage were only a few 
buildings and mostly of the batch variety with an Indian colony at the extreme end. Am returning the other 
marked photo." 


North Arm Road. False Creek Bridge. First house in Granville. 

"Re the road to New Westminster via False Creek and North Arm Road, this, while I don't know if it was 
the original — I think I can remember something about it being put through by the military — the Sappers 
and Miners you know were located at New Westminster, and this would be pie for them compared with 
the Cariboo road — the road turned at the Maple Tree from the Deighton House, and, only from memory, 
would say it went nearly due south for some distance, and came to False Creek at a narrow place. The 
bridge across was made of piles — the hill across I suppose is Fairview" (Note: Mount Pleasant) "of years 
ago. On top of it there was a swamp, some way past the top, we used to call it the 'Tea Swamp,' owing to 
California tea — commonly called so by the Cariboo miners — growing there. Just before getting to the 
swamp the road turned to the left almost at right angles towards New Westminster. I have been down this 
about a mile. Jonathan Miller, late postmaster at Vancouver, then had a farm down on this road; I went 
towards this with one of his boys. If you searched the land registry department in N.W. or Victoria no 
doubt you would find some record of this. No doubt that a record of the lot holders of '85 or '86 could be 
had, and that would give you some clue as to the houses in the pictures submitted to me, Portuguese 
Joe's being the first, so the Indians say, would be a starter. The store no doubt was erected for sea 
connection as the sign on the building, large square store front sign was facing the water when we went 
there — and big heavy steps up the side from the gravel to high land would indicate that it must have been 
canoe or boat trade that was expected. 

"I think Mr. and Mrs. Gold and son Ed came there and occupied the building for a short time; look up Ed 
Gold, he was mayor, or tried to be, of South Vancouver some years ago; he may be able to give you 
some highlights of the old building. A few days ago I was messing through some old papers, I came 
across a butcher bill of Geo. Black's for my father, it was receipted G.B. per Jon Murray, I saw his name, 
some time ago, as being in Prince Rupert." 

Boat races. First safety bicycle. Telegraph to Vancouver. 

"He and his brother and Alex Johnson worked for George Black, and used to be three of a four oared 
race boat crew. The first safety bicycle came to New Westminster in 1887. George and Henry Ashwell of 
Chilliwack got them. 

"Re telegraph to Vancouver, the first operators were McClure's of Matsqui, I don't remember if it was 
Sam, but I think he was one of them. He was afterwards one of Victoria's architects and passed away a 
few years ago." 


Tea Swamp. Indians. Mrs. Cordiner. 

Letter, 1 February 1933. "Tea Swamp was located on the left and some on the right hand side of the road 
leading to the North Arm, only a short distance over the hill, which would be Fairview Hill" (Note: he must 
mean Mount Pleasant); "been there many times, most of those places could be drained easily. No doubt 
this is entirely forgotten or never known by the present owners of this particular property. I don't 
remember anything about the Capilano chiefs, and very little about the Indians generally. A few families 
lived at the Coal Harbour end of the village" (Granville) "in my time, some at Prospect Point — why was 
that point named that? — some above Hastings Mill up the inlet, but most across the harbour at the 
present large reserve. I got a picture that was put on the Vancouver Sun some years ago of the old 
school house at Hastings Mill. I often wonder if there were any records of that old school house 
preserved. Mrs. Cordiner was the teacher, and then a Mr. Johnson, A.G. I think his initials were. The last I 
heard of Mr. Johnson was through the District Supt. of P.O. who told me he was a postmaster in the 
Lardeau Country; that was some years ago." 

F R 

. f K A. 


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Item # EarlyVan_v2_038 


Hastings Sawmill. R.H. Alexander. The first white woman, Mrs. R.H. Alexander. 
Moodyville Sawmill or "Moody's Mill." 

Excerpt from letter F.W. Alexander, 725 Henry Building, Seattle, 26 May 1932, son of R.H. Alexander, 
one of the "Overlanders of 1 862." 

"The Hastings Sawmill was not built until 1865, and my father, the late R.H. Alexander, entered that 
company's employ in 1 869, the family following him in December 1 870. My mother was the first white 
woman to live in what is now known as Vancouver, and my brother, the late H.O. Alexander, Stipendiary 
Magistrate, was the first white child born there in 1 873. There was a mill at Moodyville before the Hastings 
Mill was built, and white families living there, but they cannot of course be deemed as living in Granville or 

"Cannot state positively, but am inclined to think there were no whites living on Burrard Inlet in 1858." 

Beaumont Boggs. Hastings Street. 

"I was in Vancouver in February 1 886 and purchased the northeast corner of Hastings and Carrall streets 
from Graveley and Spinks for $650." Beaumont Boggs, 13 June 1932. 

Hastings Sawmill. Peter Bilodeau. 

"My father, Peter Bilodeau, came up from San Francisco on the paddle steamer Propeller, arrived Victoria 
1 May 1873, Hastings Mill, 2 May. There were nine white men working in the mill, and they turned out 
about fifteen thousand feet per day. About fifty people here. A little boat ran from Gastown to Moodyville. 
Father is now 81." Dr. Bilodeau, Vancouver, May 1932. 

Hastings and Moodyville. 

"John Strange arrived in Gastown from New Brunswick in July 1873. There were seven white families in 
Gastown and six in Moodyville. Jerry Rogers had three logging camps on site of Vancouver; one where 
Cordova Street is, one at Jericho, and one at Greer's Beach. Jericho was the headquarters of camps. 
Robert and Sam Preston" (note: who preempted Kitsilano Beach in 1873) "were the foreman and brother- 
in-law of Jerry Rogers." John Strange, 6 th and 6 th streets, New Westminster, April 1932. 

Bush fires. 

"I took a walk from Sapperton to Port Moody; the blue sky showed only as a blue streak through the 
dense timber, which was mostly killed by the fires that devastated the whole province in, I think, 1 867." 
L.A. Agassiz, Agassiz, May 1932. 

Plan of Hastings, 1869. Sale of lots at Hastings, 1869. Hockings. 

A map in the Land Registry, Vancouver, describes what is believed to be the first sale of lots on Burrard 
Inlet. It read as follows: 

" Plan of Hastings 

"The following lots were offered at auction 10 th July 1869. 

"2-20, 23-29, 33-36, 40-46, 48-50, 53-55. 

"Lots sold are marked thus 'O.' 

"Lots reserved are marked thus 'R.'" 

Fifty-three lots are included in the plan, of which two groups of three lots, and one single lot, seven in all, 
were sold. There were eleven lots reserved as follows: 

For Government buildings 3 

For Church buildings 1 

For Hospital buildings 2 

For Waterfront lots 5 

Total Reserved 1 1 


The old plan shows a house, "Hockings," and nearby, at the "End of the Road" from New Westminster, a 
stable; some distance off a float; it was cedar logs and rose and fell with the tide; and on the shore nearby 
two buildings, probably boat houses. A shed stands on the bank across the creek from the stable, 
probably a pigsty. This creek now runs through the Hastings Park (Exhibition Grounds). 

Two streets are shown of which one, a very short one, still exists as "Douglas Road," the other has been 
obliterated by the right of way of the Canadian Pacific Railway which passes also over the site of 
Hockings and the stable and pigsty. Hockings stood almost exactly at the foot of the present Windermere 
Street; access to Douglas Road is now by McGill Street, which enters its western end. 

So far as is known, this is the first instance of the sale of lots of real estate on Burrard Inlet. In 1868 
Joseph Silvy asked permission to purchase a piece of land with waterfrontage on the "Government 
Reserve," afterwards Granville, and his request was refused, but on 11 April 1870 Gregoris Fernandez 
bought, and in the same month, April, John Deighton and E. Brown also bought, lots in the Townsite of 
Granville, which had been surveyed into 94 lots as shown on Trutch's map of 10 March 1870. During the 
remaining months of the year and in 1 871 , several more lots were sold in Granville. Trutch's map of 1 
March 1870 shows nine buildings at Granville ranged crescent shaped along the shore, two on the street, 
two standing on more than one lot, and all built at different angles, from which it is quite evident that 
Granville was a more popular location than Hastings, for while one building only, Hockings, is shown at 
Hastings on 10 July 1869, eight months later, 10 March 1870, nine are shown as existing at Granville 
together with jail and customs house. 

Granville, 1870. 

Excerpt, letter from Miss Alma M. Russell, Assistant Provincial Archivist, Victoria, to Theo. Bryant, 31 
October 1932. 

After careful search in the Archives Dept. we were able to find a letter written by Joseph Silvy 
asking permission from the government to rent a piece of land with waterfrontage on the 
government reserve. This was in 1868, and was refused. 

As we did not have a copy of the map of Granville surveyed by Joseph Trutch in 1 870 I went 
down to the Survey Department, Government Bldgs, and found that they had the original map. 

On this map Lot 16, Block VI, was owned by a man named Gregoris Fernandez. He bought it on 
1 1 April 1 870. But on the same map lot No. 7, Block 2, was sold to Joseph Silvia on 9 May 1 871 . 

Lots on this block were numbered from 1 to 7, and were sold as follows: 

No. 1 Block 2 sold April 1870 to John Deighton. 

No. 2 Block 2 Jail and Customs House. 

No. 3 Block 2 sold April 1870 to E. Brown. 

No. 4 Block 2 sold May 1871 to Geo. Brew. 

No. 5 Block 2 sold December 1870 to John A. Webster. 

No. 6 Block 2 sold May 1871 to Alexander McCrimmon. 

No. 7 Block 2 sold 9 May 1871 to Joseph Silva. 

At the time the map was made, all these lots had buildings on them. 

On Silvia's or Silvy's letter his name is spelled Silvy, his X mark, so it is difficult to decide which 
should be the proper spelling, as the man himself could not write." 


The Silvy or Silvey family now live at Egmont, B.C. See Genealogy form, Vancouver City 
Archives. September 1934. JSM. 


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The photograph "Vancouver Harbour, Copyright applied for," identified by big stump in centre with ragged 
splinter on right top, also big stump on extreme left of photo and ship at Hastings Sawmill almost exactly 

It is reputed that this photograph was taken from the foot of Granville Street, but careful measurements 
would indicate that this is not so, but that it was taken from the foot of Richards Street, probably where 
the Canadian Pacific Railway had a small building which escaped the Fire of June 1886. This is borne out 
by the nearness of the town of Granville to the camera, and further it is unlikely that such a picture could 
have been taken from the foot of Granville Street on account of the contour of the land. The photograph 
was taken about February or March, perhaps January 1886, but most likely late February or early March 

Theo. Bryant, Ladysmith (son of the Rev. Cornelius Bryant, minister of the Methodist parsonage and 
Indian Church at Granville, and who arrived in June or July 1 878 to take up his residence — date of arrival 
about 20 July 1878 — and who lived there about "three years"), has, after careful scrutiny and examination 
with a microscope, written the following explanation of the buildings and landmarks in this photograph, 
1932, from memory. 

1 . Methodist Parsonage, two storey house painted white with two windows. 

2. "Portuguese Joe's" store, to the right and adjoining above. 

3. Indian Church, partly obscuring "Portuguese Joe's" store. 

4. St. James' Church of England in this vicinity. 

5. Probably "Princess Louise" Tree, about foot of Columbia Street. 

6. Hastings Mill store and Post Office. 

7. Approximate location of Old School House. 

8. Rear of Geo. Black's butcher shop. 

9. Sunnyside Hotel floating wharf. 

10. Granville Hotel (Joe Mannion's) floating wharf. 

1 1 . Long building over water, erected after Bryants left in 1881 . 

Granville, 1882. Mr. Carter-Cotton. News-Advertiser. 

The Province, 9 September 1929, published an article, written by Mr. Carter-Cotton, an early reporter on 
his father's (Hon. Francis Lacy Carter-Cotton) newspaper, the News-Advertiser, and illustrated with a 
photograph of a sketch of "Granville, 1882." Mr. Carter-Cotton — the reporter — died soon afterwards. 

Granville 1882. 

1. Deighton Hotel, Bill Blair, proprietor. 

2. Provincial Government Building and Jail, residence of Jonathan Miller, policeman and tax 

3. Telegraph office. 

4. Mannion's Hotel. 

5. Sullivan's Grocery store, hall above, where fraternal societies met. 

6. In this location was Louis Gold's general store, which seems to be out of focus (?). 

7. Robertson's Saloon. 

8. Ben Wilson's store, afterwards conducted by Mrs. Wilson. 

9. Trail leading to Spratt's Wharf. 

10. On the other side of Wilson's store was Methodist Hall where Rev. C.P. Thompson preached. 

1 1 . On the other side of Deighton Hotel, out of sight, was McKendry's shoe store. 

It would appear that Mr. Carter-Cotton, in writing the above, mixed his years slightly. There was no 
Methodist Hall until a month or so before the Great Fire of 1 3 June 1 886; prior to that only the Indian 
Church and the Methodist parsonage, the latter, a house. 


Extracts from B.C. Directory, 1885. 

Granville, Port Moody, Yale. 

"The first through train from Port Moody to Yale, Wednesday, Jan. 23 rd 1884." 

The number of names in Granville directory: "about 131" and "some Chinamen." 

Sea Island, Post Offices. 

Despatch to Daily News-Advertiser, 3 July 1888. "Ottawa. Mail service between Sea Island and 
Vancouver via North Arm will be established." 

The despatch does not say by what route. Without investigation, it suggests via what is now known as 
Granville Street, and the "new" Granville Street bridge, and the "new" road to the North Arm through the 
C.P.R. Grant, but the new bridge was not formally opened until 4 January 1 889, so it must have been 
some other route. [NOTE ADDED LATER: Fraser River.] 



Item # EarlyVan_v2_047 





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Gastown. Hastings Road. 

Hugh E. Campbell, 1 August 1 931 . "Hastings Road from Gastown to Hastings Mill was, when I first saw 
it, quite a good road; there may have been a few planks on it from the Sunnyside Hotel going a short 
distance eastwards, but not where it began to go up the hill." (A photo, "nigger minstrel" fire brigade, 
shows part of Hastings Road.) "There was a ditch to let the water run from the south side under it into the 
inlet; the ditch was about Columbia Street. The shore, of course, ran along outside the road, except just 
west of the No. 1 Fire Hall, or what was afterwards No. 1 Fire Hall, which stood on the old provincial 
government lot where the Court House and jail had stood from early days. At that point Water Street was 
afterwards bridged to cross the lower beach; the shoreline ran back about as far as Trounce Alley 
between Cordova Street and Water Street." 

Note: in 1 898 and for some years after, the waters of Burrard Inlet seeped through the fill — on which the 
C.P.R. railway ran — onto the low land below Water Street. This low land ran from about the foot of Carrall 
Street to at least beyond Abbott Street — the old Methodist Hall stood on stilts, and so was the sidewalk in 
front of it. The land of the beach would be from eight to ten feet below the present level of Water Street, 
and was a stinking hole. In 1 933 the only lot on Water Street which has never been built upon is one next 
door westwards of W.H. Malkin's wholesale warehouse; it has been partly filled in, but is still seven or 
eight feet below the level of Water Street and is now used for a car storage yard. 

Gastown, or by its Indian name, Lucklucky. 

The question might be asked, "Why was Gastown located in the particular spot it was in view of the fact 
that John Morton, our first settler, located just west of the foot of Burrard Street?" The name "Lucklucky" 
(Indian) is equivalent to "grove of beautiful trees," and it may be presumed that the little beach with its 
pretty trees and its small cove, attracted both Indians and afterwards whites. For the Indians before the 
white man came, it must have been a convenient spot to cut across from Burrard Inlet to False Creek — 
when they did not use the Campbell Avenue route — for the waters of the creek and the inlet could not 
have been more than 300 yards apart, and at high tides perhaps much less; at extreme high tide the 
whole ground was a sopping bog. The whole area from Abbott Street to Columbia Street was very 
swampy, as several narratives recount. J.A. Mateer (20 July 1931) says, "I helped to pile, cap, bridge and 
plank Dupont Street" (Pender Street East) "between Carrall and Columbia; the tide came right up to the 
corner of Columbia and Dupont." Another authority says, "Hastings Street was an awful hole, almost 
impassable even in summer for a team." W.F. Findlay speaks of portaging canoes, large canoes, across 
Carrall Street. Mrs. D.R. Reid speaks of escaping from the Great Fire by taking refuge in a ditch with 
water in it — in June 1886, that is, midsummer and after an extremely dry spring — on Pender Street. At the 
foot of Columbia Street there was, in 1 898, the Champion and Whyte garbage men's yard and office — an 
awful smelly place on account of the creek water coming to within 30 or 40 yards of Pender (Dupont) 
Street and the effluvia which arose from the muddy shore. Even after much filling by slab lumber and 
sawdust from the Royal City Mills, the work of ten years or more, the water of False Creek must have 
been within 75 or 100 yards of Pender Street at Carrall in 1898, and were deep. 

That the Indians had a name for the location shows that it was occupied by them before the white man 
came; that it bore the name of Lucklucky, "grove of beautiful trees," indicates a pleasant place. Then 
came the whiteman who settled at Hastings Sawmill. After him came the very early roamers. To the east 
would be the Hastings Sawmill where they could not very well establish as the mill people would not want 
them; to the west was Puchahls, or "white rocks" (C.P.R. Station) known as "The Bluff to early Vancouver 
pioneers, and on account of its steep cliff and narrow shore, impossible of settlement. The low sheltered 
picturesque spot on which Gastown was built would be the natural selection, especially as it had a little 
cove into which canoes could be drawn for safety. Probably there were trails leading across from False 
Creek to Burrard Inlet; it was the natural point at which to establish. 

The Indians state that "Portuguese Joe" was the first white man to start a trading establishment there, at 
the foot of Abbott Street. The records of the former members of the Royal Engineers show that when they 
surveyed the townsite of Granville in 1870 there were nine buildings grouped in a crescent along the 
shore between Abbott and Carrall Street. Corporal Turner, R.E., makes no mention of them on his survey 
notes of February and March 1863, although he shows John Morton's cabin and Indian huts (at 


Until further research discloses more authentic information, it might be safely assumed that Granville 
grew from "Portuguese Joe's" store or trading post on a low lump of land on the shore at the foot of 
Abbott Street, and that it grew between 1 863 and 1 870, when it was surveyed by the ex-Royal Engineers, 
(at least, the 1 870 survey of six blocks was, but the proposed extension to the west was by a man, 
believed to be a Mr. Green) and laid out in lots, as the result of logging operations, Indian trading, the 
necessity of having some point for government buildings off property privately owned (Hastings Sawmill 
and others) and the attractions perhaps offered to sailors from the ships at the mill, and loggers, who 
sought privileges not permitted on the company's property. 

Early Trails. 

Chillahminst (Jim Franks), North Vancouver, 2 March 1933. Jim Franks was born at Skwayoos, 
afterwards Greer's Beach, still later Kitsilano Beach. 

"No trail to Jericho from Skwayoos, go beach, no trail. Trail to Gastown from about Granville Street, from 
about Snauq, go all along through tree to about Westminster Avenue; just little trail, about wide enough 
one man; don't know just about where go; all long Fairview to Westminster Avenue from about Granville 

"Oh, I remember, my father make canoe up on hill above Kitsilano Beach. Loggers just take fir, leave 
cedar; my father, Chillahminst, make canoe up on hill, have Hudson's Bay file for chisel, stone for 
hammer. I go up see him; go up log road, meet oxen come down; I little boy, run away, very frightened at 
oxen come down trail. My father bring canoe down beach, take him out Point Grey, hook sturgeon, oh, 
big, twelve feet, 'bout four inches thick, very heavy; tow sturgeon to beach, turn canoe over, take stakes" 
(cross pieces) "out, slide sturgeon into canoe, turn canoe over again when sturgeon in canoe. 

"My father tell me he see first whitemans ship up Squamish. 

"Two log road up hill from Skwayoos, one go one way, one go other way; little swamp up on top hill, 
logging road go 'round swamp." 


Item # EarlyVan_v2_050 


Fi r s t_ r e s i de n t c 1 e r t -,ym t in | 
of Granville, 1873, 

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Item # EarlyVan_v2_051 




Wat e r_s treat 

Erected fall of 1886, Lot 15,Blk VI. Demolished 

Feb. 1924, Stood on property Methodist parsonage 

Indian church, 1875; first in Vancouver. 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_052 


Rey.~lAN\es Turner 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_053 


Rev. Charles M. Tate. The Indian Church at Granville. 

Conversation with Rev. Charles Montgomery Tate, Dominion Day, 1932, and subsequent days during 
July and August 1932. 

The following statement, after successive typings, is as finally approved by the Rev. CM. Tate. 

Other comment: Professor Chas. Hill-Tout. "I am returning the MS. Taking Mr. Tate's statement as a 
whole I think you are doing good work in making a record. I shall be glad to look over your final proofs." 

Rev. W. Lashley Hall, White Rock, B.C., 7 July 1932. "I am glad to discover a man who believes in 
accuracy. Therefore let me offer my congratulations on the story you have compiled. The best compliment 
I can give is that it brings Rev. Mr. Tate before me, and accords with all I know of him. I know Mr. Tate 
very well, and I am sure I could rely implicitly on any statement he makes of things happening within his 
own ken. Whatever he presents would, ipso facto, command great respect." 

Rev. Charles M. Tate, the Indian Church at Granville: 

"The first church in Granville stood on the boulder and seaweed strewn shore of Burrard Inlet, on a blunt 
point of land jutting out into the water at the foot of what is now Abbott Street. Together with the Rev. 
Thomas Derrick, I dedicated it in 1876," remarked the Reverend Charles Montgomery Tate, Wesleyan 
Methodist Indian Missionary, once a butcher boy, now a venerable cleric of pioneer days resident with his 
nephew and niece, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Watson, Lilfred Apartments, Cornwall Street, and today, despite 
his eighty years, a picture of physical and mental activity, and will be, this afternoon, a guest of the city of 
Vancouver at the opening of the Burrard Bridge which passes over the Indian village, or rather its site, 
where once he preached in its potlatch house. 

The first church in Vancouver. 

"The tiny house of God," he continued, "was a little box of a place, perhaps thirty feet long by twenty wide, 
built on the edge of the low bank, perhaps three or four feet high, of the shore, surrounded by a bit of 
clearing in the forest, say half an acre, more or less, at a point where the shoreline bulged outwards. It 
was so close to the shore that the Indians used to tie their canoes to the front steps. This position gave it 
a certain prominence as a landmark in a marine and forest scene which, in all directions save perhaps the 
First and Second Narrows, was a verdant forest, covering, as a green blanket, everything from mountain 
top to water's edge. In the immediate foreground, the shallow shore lay littered with large and small 
boulders, kelp, seaweed; in the background a narrow fringe of bushes, stumps, etc., and behind that, 
within a very few yards, were the tall timbers of the woods, wrapping the little grey edifice and its 
parsonage in a frame of green. The colouring was enhanced by a number of maple trees with light green 
foliage which, in the sunlight, gleamed against the darker green of fir and cedar; it was a pretty scene in 

"To the west, the branches of the firs and cedars overhung the shore, and at high tide the waters of the 
inlet almost touched the lower branches. To the east were the few houses, curved along the beach, 
forming the townsite of Granville, in all nine or ten small buildings scarcely visible from the parsonage 
because of the intervening small trees and bushes. Granville was reached by a single plank laid on the 
earth from the parsonage." 

The Indian church at Granville. 

"The path dipped down to the shoreline as it passed Granville, curving somewhat irregularly as it went, 
and then continued on through the trees to Hastings Mill, at that time the centre of almost every activity 
on Burrard Inlet. Two or more narrow tracks up and down the low bank from the shore to the church had 
been worn by the Indians coming and going from their canoes. 

"Both buildings, the church and the parsonage, the latter most easterly, were crowded between forest and 
shore; there was little room. A small garden clustered around the parsonage; there were a few flowers, 
that was all; space did not permit a vegetable garden or fruit of any sort." 

The Methodist parsonage. 

"The parsonage was the first building used by us for devotional purposes on what is now the site of the 
city of Vancouver. The lot on which it stood had been bought for three hundred dollars" (one authority 


says two hundred) "from the government at Victoria by the Reverend James Turner, the first resident 
minister in Granville. The front of the parsonage faced the water, and at high tide the steps from the 
doorway were lapped by the waters of the inlet, and to them the parson tied his boat. It was a very 
convenient location for the Indians, who came from all parts of the inlet in their canoes, and also for the 
preacher in his boat, the only means of getting about amongst his parishioners. I never saw a survey map 
of the townsite of Granville, but I do know that, when the lot was surveyed, the parsonage was found to 
be on Water Street. Corporal Turner, of the Royal Engineers, whom you tell me made the first survey of 
Burrard Inlet in 1863, was still surveying when I came; perhaps he surveyed our lot." 


"An itinerant Methodist missionary to the native tribes, I made several visits to Granville between 1872 
and 1 876. The Rev. James Turner was itinerant preacher to the English speaking residents. In 1 873 the 
parsonage was built by the Rev. James Turner, who had been appointed to the Burrard Inlet Mission by 
the Toronto Methodist Conference, and who selected the site as being the most central for his large field; 
his portrait in oils is in the Columbian College, New Westminster. It was a two-storey building of the 
simple frontier type, with a peak roof and a very large kitchen in which the first services were held and in 
which I participated. Then, during 1875, the Indian converts to the Christian faith became too numerous 
for the kitchen; that is, during the incumbency of Rev. Thomas Derrick from Cariboo, who had gone to 
Cariboo, the Indian church was built on the same lot as the parsonage. 

"The Rev. Mr. Derrick had collected subscription in cash and material — the Hastings Sawmill gave most 
of the lumber — and superintended its construction. He, of course, was actually minister to the white 
people. When the Indian church was completed, I, as Indian missionary, together with the Rev. Mr. 
Derrick, dedicated it. 

"This will set at rest any misunderstanding as to the priority of parsonage or church, both the first of their 
kind built in the city now possessing over two hundred sacred edifices. I do not know when the first 
church services were held in the old Hastings Mill store, but I clearly recall the purchase of an organ with 
funds raised by public subscription for the services held in the Hastings Mill school house. I presume it is 
the same organ as is now in the Vancouver City Museum." 

The Indian church. 

"The outward appearance of the Indian church was just boards and a hand shaved shake roof; above 
was a small bell tower, a sort of cupola with a bell, and I can still [hear] its solitary toll tinkling out over the 
silent waters of Burrard Inlet calling the worshippers, principally Indians, to Sabbath morning devotions. 
There were a lot of northern Indians working at the Hastings Mill, and they, as also those from Stanley 
Park, Capilano, and Seymour Creek, came in their canoes. The location was most convenient for the 
Indians coming by canoe, and was the reason for its being built in that location on the shore; it was 
equally convenient for the preacher, who did most of his work by boat as the only means of getting about; 
all landed almost on the steps of the church or parsonage. 

"When we went to civilization we first went by trail passable for pedestrians only, a single plank laid on the 
earth through the trees to Hastings Mill, and then took the old steamer Senator — Captain Stevens, I think, 
was her master, but am not sure — as far as Hastings Landing, quite a bit up the inlet, and then took 
stage, a wagon with leather springs, cross seats and two horses, from the end of the road to the Royal 

"The interior of the church was as unpretentious as the exterior; just rough, no attempt at embellishment 
or ornament, rough, as befitted the circumstance, the general situation, and the tenets of the Wesleyan 
Methodist denomination. In the spring and summer, the whole scene, church and parsonage, was 
romantically picturesque, a picture of wild primeval beauty. 

"The fact that the crown grant for the property was granted to the Rev. Mr. Pollard on 5 January 1 877, 
that is, four years after the parsonage was erected, is probably explainable by the fact that the Rev. Mr. 
Pollard, who was chairman of the B.C. District of the Methodist Church, was acting for the Rev. Mr. 
Turner, and further, that it took some time for the application for the grant for funds to purchase the land 
to be granted by the Missionary Board at Toronto." 


Pastoral travels among the Indians. 

"People would not believe it now, but the fact is that the district under my care was, from my headquarters 
which were supposed to be in Nanaimo, down the east coast of Vancouver's Island as far as Victoria, 
then all Victoria, then over to the Musqueam Indians at the mouth of the Fraser River, and thence up the 
Fraser River as far as Yale, and an occasional side trip to Nooksahk in the territory of Washington. 

"I first saw Granville in 1872. The Rev. Mr. Turner lived at New Westminster, at the parsonage there, and 
used to come out from New Westminster and return the same night; I came with him sometimes. My 
duties demanded periodical trips from Westminster to Hastings; sometimes I walked, sometimes staged — 
to tell the truth I preferred walking to riding in the bumping stage — and then took the ferry to Moodyville 
where I preached to the Indians working in the sawmill there. Then I would cross to Gastown by canoe, 
and sometimes traverse the woods to the False Creek reservation, or as we know it now, the Kitsilano 
Indian Reserve. Bear in mind, I was itinerant preacher to the Indian tribes; Mr. Turner was itinerant 
preacher to the English speaking people. I had plenty of opportunity to become familiar with the Indians, 
their trials, triumphs and customs." 

The False Creek village. 

"I often visited the Kitsilano band in the 70s. There were a hospitable lot, and I was entertained by Chief 
George and his band in their community house. Old Chief George's community house (potlatch house) 
was right under the present Burrard Bridge which we have opened this afternoon; I believe a stone 
dropped from the bridge would strike in the centre of the site on which the village stood." 


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The Kitsilano Indian reserve. Chief George, Indian name Chip-Kaay-am. 

"At the end of the meeting I would call out, asking if anyone had anything to say, or sometimes old Chief 
George would do it himself. In any case he would usually get up and make some remarks, giving the 
young men some good advice as to how to deport themselves, and the proper things to do." 

Note: in reviewing the MS Professor Hill-Tout margins, "I spell the name 'Khatsalanoogh.'" (See below.) 

"What do I mean by 'entertain'? Oh, well, something to eat, and the privilege of gathering the people 
together for services; probably some bread baked in the ashes, and a cup of questionable tea; the teapot 
was not always cleaned out when tea was scarce; in fact, when tea was very scarce, the Indians used the 
leaves of some swamp shrub which grew with a kind of thick leaf, 'Hudson's Bay' tea, we used to call it. 
The tea was commonly made in a tin 'billy,' a small tin pail with wire handle for carrying it by, and a lid 
with a wire finger ring in the centre of top. Chief George of the False Creek Reserve, Snauq was the 
Indian name for it, was an Indian of the best sort, and his band were a most hospitable lot. His wife was a 
Nanaimo woman. There was quite a settlement at Chief George's False Creek reserve, probably a dozen 
houses, built of split cedar, sawboards and slabs, and the big community house; a total population 
perhaps of fifty persons all told; it was a settlement of consequence. There were no Indians living further 
up the creek. 

"'Kitsilano,' as pronounced by the Indians of that reserve, was Haat-sa-lah-nough, the last syllable being 
given a shorter and more guttural sound than 'nough' in 'enough'; more like Scotch 'lough' (loch), but 
actually there is no sound in the English tongue akin to it. 'Haatsa' means swamp or lake. 

"I have heard that Professor Chas. Hill-Tout, well versed in Indian custom and lore, explains that 
'Kitsilano' was the hereditary name or title of the chief of the tribe, or some such thing, and perhaps this is 
true, but the first syllable is geographical in its meaning. The place always has precedence over the man; 
the chiefs name is usually taken from the place; a similarity is in the British baronial system of 
nomenclature for titles of nobility." 

Chief Haatsalahnough (Khat-sal-anough). 

Query: What did August Jack mean, 24 August 1 932, when he said that his father, Hey-tilt (Khay-tulk), 
son of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough, was buried in a little glass house and red blankets at Chay-thoos 
(Prospect Point in Stanley Park)? 

"Oh, that was a dead house. The Indians had them all along the coast, used them for putting the dead in; 
some of the dead houses were quite pretentious, even fixed up with doors and windows, and in some 
cases, even had easy chairs, sofas and such and such — " (significant pause and resigned nod) "'for the 
repose of the soul' of the dead. On the west coast of Vancouver Island they put the dead in the trees; 
rolled the body up in a blanket or mat, tied it up with a rope and as soon as the person was dead and" 
(significantly) "very often before they were dead, hang the body up in a tree. An Indian, Joe Smith of 
Claoquaht" (Clayoquot) "told me with his own word of mouth that he had been wrapped up in a blanket, 
and put in a cave. After he had lain there a day or two he became conscious, and managed to untie the 
ropes and walked out. When he walked across a bare piece of land he met another Indian who accosted 
him with, 'What are you doing here, you're dead? You go away, or we shall have no food for winter, no 
salmon.' Joe protested that he was not dead, but the other Indian ran off and got a rifle, and returning, 
raised it. Joe protested, 'Don't shoot, don't shoot, I'm not dead.' Joe told me that himself at Claoquaht. 

"If August Jack is the grandson of Chief Haatsa-lah-nough, he is most certainly entitled to be known as 
August Kitsilano in English." 

Visits to Musqueam. 

"From the False Creek reservation I walked by Indian trail through the forest to Musqueam where Thit- 
see-mah-lah-nough was chief; the names of many of the chiefs ended in 'nough.' I cannot say exactly 
how I got from Granville to False Creek, but my impression is that it was by a trail which ran from 
somewhere about Abbott Street through the forest cross country to the foot of Granville Street. There I 
crossed False Creek by canoe, and struck out for the north arm of the Fraser River by logging trail. There 
was one good logging trail which led to Rowlings Landing," (Mr. Tate omitted to state where) "another to 
Eburne, that is, to the McCleery farm near Eburne, and from there down to the Musqueams there was a 


pretty well beaten track. It is doubtless difficult for people of Vancouver to picture the dry well drained site 
on which they live as, in parts, a wet soggy swamp. Behind the Kitsilano Beach was a muskeg of twenty 
or more acres alive with muskrats. Much of the high land in the West End was very swampy — the Royal 
Engineers noted that on their first maps — another very large peaty area was what I think we call Dunbar 
Heights now, and of course behind Jericho there was an enormous area of swamp, and there were 

"After preaching to the Indians in Chief Thit-see-nah-lah-nough's house at Musqueam, I returned to New 
Westminster either by canoe, or to Granville, via Main Street" (North Arm Road) "as we call it now, then 
across the False Creek Bridge to Hastings Mill, and on by Steven's ferry to the 'end of the road' at 
Moodyville Crossing" (Hastings) "where I took Lewis's stage, or walked — which actually I preferred to 
staging over corduroy roads in a vehicle swung on leather straps instead of springs — to New 

Indians at Stanley Park and Capilano. 

"As a side trip I frequently took a rowboat or canoe to the First Narrows to visit a small band living in 
Stanley Park where the Lumberman's Arch" (Whoi-Whoi) "now stands. Chief Thomas of the Squamish 
tribe lived there. There was a community house at Stanley Park, and I should not be surprised if the posts 
are not there yet, beneath the surface; they were probably chopped off level with the surface when the 
buildings were demolished. The biggest community house there was probably one hundred feet long by 
forty feet wide; the Indians did not live in separate homes, but in one long community house." (See Indian 
Villages and Landmarks, and Mr. Tate's remarks there.) 

Indian buildings in Stanley Park (Whoi-Whoi). 

"The Indian building in Stanley Park by the Lumberman's Arch, indeed most Indian buildings, were 
constructed by first placing four tall posts in the ground, two at each end, and connecting each set of two 
end posts together with a stringer, twenty or more feet from the ground. A long beam was then laid at 
right angles from stringer to stringer, and served as a sort of ridge pole and carried the roof, but the 
buildings were not peak roofed — they were lean-tos — the roof had just one slope; the floor, of course, was 
just bare earth. The walls were generally made by driving a couple of small poles or stakes close together 
in the ground along the line of the wall, and slipping, or dropping, boards, usually split cedar boards, very 
thick, between the two stakes, and then tying the two stakes, lashing them together with some sort of 
cedar rope. The roof was also made of split cedar shakes, split with a wooden maul and deer horn 

"There was no real door; usually a mat was hung over the opening which served as an entrance. When 
they wanted light, they poked a stick up, and slid aside one of the roof boards, and let the light in that 
way, and the same thing when there was too much smoke; the smoke went out through the roof. These 
buildings have all been cleared away now." 

Note by Prof. Hill-Tout on MS. See example of one in Hill-Tout's The Far West, page 50. 

Chief Lah-wa. 

"Then there was Chief Lah-wa of the Capilano band, and several of his members who were our earliest 
converts. Chief Lah-wa, poor fellow, was drowned while crossing the First Narrows in a canoe; it is 
presumed the someone had given him some liquor, with tragic results. He had been baptized and married 
in the little Indian church at Gastown. Another small band lived in a community house at Seymour Creek, 
near Moodyville Sawmill." 

Origin of Squamish tribe. 

"Where the Squamish Indians came from is a question of conjecture. On one of my visits to the Indians at 
Nooksahk, Washington, I asked if they could give me any reason for their language being similar to that 
of the Squamish Indians. They said to me, 'They are our people,' and told me the following legend. 

"'A long time ago when the salmon were very plentiful about Point Roberts and Semiahmo Bay, a number 
of our people went fishing with sunken nets, called swahlah, when a heavy southeast storm came up and 
carried them away north. The storm kept up day after day which made it impossible for them to return to 
the mouth of the Nooksahk river, so, finding it quite calm under the shelter of Point Grey and in English 


Bay, they went on shore and made themselves comfortable in a temporary camp. Finding plenty of food 
and abundance of cedar timber for building purposes and to make their canoes, they decided to remain 

"Cedar was very useful to the Indians, and cedar always grows more prolifically in swamps than 
elsewhere. I think it must have been, in part at least, the cedar which attracted and kept the Indians in the 
neighbourhood of Burrard Inlet and English Bay. The reason why they are scattered about in small bands 
is the common reason with all Indians — petty jealousies, family quarrels, disagreements between would- 
be chiefs, and many other causes. Hence the little band at Seymour Creek, another at the head of Howe 
Sound, in Stanley Park, Capilano, False Creek and other places. The Indians at North Vancouver are 
accounted for from the fact that the Roman Catholic Mission was established there in early days, and the 
Indians have been encouraged to build their homes in the neighbourhood of the church. The two key 
words in the Nooksahk tongue which particularly attracted my attention were the words 'haatl' and 
'sneetcham,' meaning 'good' and 'language or talk.' After long experience with Indians and their 
languages in various parts of this country, the Nooksahk explanation seems reasonable enough to me." 

Indian converts. 

"Among our converts at the little Indian church at Granville was a husky fellow from Bella Bella named Jim 
Starr. I think he must have been named after old Captain Starr. Jim probably worked for Captain Starr on 
his boat, and after a time became known as Jim Starr; it was in some such manner that most of the 
Indians got the names by which they are known today." (Note: Johnny Scow of Alert Bay was named by 
Mr. Munn, cannery man of Westminster, after Johnny had saved the lives of Indian women and children 
adrift on a scow in a storm on a scow at Steveston; there are now many Scows at Alert Bay.) "Shortly 
after his conversion, Jim Starr went to Victoria Indian Mission, and married a Kit-a-maat woman named 
Esther, also of the Victoria Indian Mission. They were about the happiest couple I ever met. Very soon 
after their marriage they went north together, and sought to lead their tribes people in a Christian way. 
Jim and Esther both died several years ago, but their names are still fragrant at Bella Bella, and the 
Indian Church at old Gastown must be long credited as the spiritual birthplace of one of the most saintly 
men British Columbia has ever known." 

A continuation of this narrative of Rev. CM. Tate's experiences with Indians in other parts of the 
Province, etc., will be found elsewhere. 

Rev. CM. Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary. 

"Gold brought me to British Columbia. I was born in 1852, and my first work was as a butcher boy. I recall 
very vividly the long miles I used to walk to get cattle, sheep and pigs for my employer; they were terribly 
long walks, but I suppose they fitted me physically for the work I was destined to do in British Columbia. I 
was 18 when I came out, via the Panama to British Columbia to go to the Cariboo goldfields. There is a 
long account of it entitled 'Fifty Years with the Methodist Church in British Columbia' which I have written 
and which is published in book form, Review of the United Churches in British Columbia, 1925. But on 
arrival in Victoria it was clear that there was no sense in going to the Cariboo; all the miners were 
returning, some of them starving. I got a job in Nanaimo looking after a bit of a donkey engine which, 
when sailing ships were not in for coal, hauled the coal cars up a slope from which the coal was dumped 
in to the coal bins. Thus it was that when I first came to British Columbia in 1870, I became associated 
with the Wesleyan Methodist church at Nanaimo, and through them with the uninstructed Indians. The 
Indians interested me; I was little more than a lad, just 18, got talking to them, spent my evenings with 
them, started to learn their language, and ultimately suggested that they start a night school amongst 
themselves. 'But,' their reply was, 'how can we get someone to teach us,' the problem of a teacher was 
seemingly, to them, an insurmountable difficulty, and no doubt they were a little astonished when I said, 'I 
will.' So in the evenings I used to go down to the village and teach them, and of course when the strike 
came — it was a long strike of seven months — I was able to do it in the daytime. All voluntary, of course, 
no salary. 

"The strike ended, and I applied for my old job back again, but Mr. Mark Bate — you have heard of him, he 
was manager of the coal mines — told me there were a lot of older men who wanted the job, men who 
were 'up against it'; and that I was a young fellow and could look after myself, so I was not taken on. I 


was 'flat broke,' had not a cent in the world, but kept on going for a week or two. Just then the 
superintendent of missions from Toronto came along, and he said to the Rev. Mr. Crosby who was in 
charge of Nanaimo, 'Why not start a school, do you think you could find a teacher?' Mr. Crosby replied, 
'Yes, one right here, one who has been teaching them voluntarily.' I got the appointment, at $300 a year 
and paid my own expenses. 

"My directions I got from the Mission Board at Toronto; my salary gradually rose until it reached $500, 
always without travelling allowance, and out of which I had to find my own horse, or canoe, or steamboat 
fare and expenses; pretty hard going at times with sugar at 250 a pound and other things in proportion. 

"How did I obtain my ordination? Well, I can best explain that, perhaps, by relating the story of a question 
which was once asked me when travelling in eastern Canada. A gentlemen enquired of me what college I 
had been in. I replied that I had been in most of the colleges of Canada and the United States, but that 
my collegiate training I got mostly in a canoe or on horseback; that was where I did most of my studying. 

"When it came to the actual ordination which was in Victoria at the time of the Methodist Conference of 
1879, I had already passed my examinations, but as a final test, was required to preach a sermon before 
three examiners. My examiners and I repaired to the Indian church on Herald Street and with the three 
examiners and Indians as my congregation, I preached a sermon in the Ankameenum Indian language, 
that is, the language of the Indians on the east coast of Vancouver Island; not one word of which my 
examiners understood. 

"Next morning, to my astonishment, I listened to a most glorious report upon my preaching given by my 
examiners to the conference, and" — here Mr. Tate smiled — "I was ordained." 

The Great Fire. Rev. Joseph Hall. 

"The Rev. Joseph Hall succeeded the Rev. Thos. Derrick in 1884, and it was he who was in charge when 
the Great Fire destroyed church, parsonage and stable. The stable for the two cows had been built in 
1885, and, together with the cows, was owned by Mr. Hall. During the fire one cow escaped along the 
beach; the other was burned to death. I was in Chilliwack at the time of the fire; a good deal of smoke 
passed over the valley, some ashes, and small pieces of burned shingles. 

"After the fire, neither parsonage nor church was rebuilt, but instead on the same lot there was erected 
the well-known Methodist Hall, which good service for our devotional exercises as well as for church 
services for such organizations as the Orangemen, for concerts, indeed I believe it was there that the first 
band concert of Vancouver's first brass band was held. Previous to the erection of the Methodist Hall, we 
held our services in the Hastings school house, together with the Anglican clergy, and an organ was 
purchased by public subscription and used by both denominations." 

Homer Street Methodist Church 

"As the city began to assume proportions, the old building and the lot were sold for $8,000, and the 
money formed the nucleus of a fund with which the Homer Street Methodist Church, erected on the 
northwest corner of Homer and Dunsmuir, was built. The Rev. Ebenezer Robson was then minister; his 
son is in Vancouver. 

"The old Methodist Hall was, after sale, used as a grain and feed store, first I think by Mr. Arkell, then by 
Mr. Fred Allen, and just before it was torn down in February 1924 by Rainsford and Co., wholesale fruit 

Note: there was burned church, parsonage, stable and hall. The hall was new, had been opened on 23 
May 1 886 by Rev. Ebenezer Robson; the hall only was rebuilt, in the fall, after Fire; same shape, same 

Marginal note by Prof. Hill-Tout in reviewing manuscript: "Mr. Tate is wrong in saying the 'Ankameenum,' 
otherwise called 'Malkomalem,' is the language of the West Coast. It is the tongue of the River Indians 
from Yale downwards, otherwise know as the 'Cowachin' tongue." 


"I was told that the Musqueam Indians did not speak the Squamish tongue, but the River dialect." 

The Indian church at Gastown. 

Dick Isaacs, Indian name Que-yah-chulk, North Vancouver Indian Reserve, 14 October 1932. 

"I remember old Indian Church over Gastown quite well. Little bit of place on shore. Not sideways to 
shore; one end nearest water. No tower like over here North Vancouver, but just little bit tower and bell. 
Inside not fixed up like Catholic fix up church, just plain, 'bout thirty feet long, wide enough for three 
benches for us to sit on, all in a row across church. 

"Lots Indians go there from Whoi-Whoi" (Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park). "Big settlement Indians Whoi- 
Whoi. Mr. Daylick" (Derrick) "was first minister I remember, then Mr. Bryant, Mr. Tate come sometimes 

"I remember old chief Capilano. I don't know how old I am, may be 60, may be 70. When old Capilano die 
his son Lah-wa be chief. Lah-wa get married in little Indian Church in Gastown to Fraser River Indian 
woman. Lah-wa get drowned, then Joe Capilano chief, he some relation old Capilano's wife." (Incorrect.) 
"Chief Joe was good Catholic, that's why they make him chief. 

"'Portuguese Joe' was the first whiteman to keep store at Gastown. He had store by Indian church. When 
Portuguese Joe go there first just one white man, just Portuguese Joe. He build store by Indian church 
before Indian church come; Ben Wilson he build store just behind Portuguese Joe place. 

"My sister Aunt Sally, Stanley Park" (a famous character) "Puchahls name place where C.P.R. Dock now; 
lots big trees, lots bushes, lots shade, not much sun at Puchahls." 


February 1935, August Jack Haatsalano: "The little church was, I should say, 32 feet by 18 feet." 
JSM. See above. 

The Indian church at Granville. 

Theo. Bryant. 

Copy of letter from Theo. Bryant, son of the Rev. Cornelius Bryant, minister of the Methodist 
congregation, Granville: 

Ladysmith, B.C. 
27 August 1932 

I remember the Indian Church quite well; it was built and finished when we moved there — about 
June or July 1 878, I am not looking up records on date. The parsonage for the Methodist Church 
was facing the waterfront, and at the rear of the lot a narrow sidewalk passed along it towards the 
Coal Harbour end; the Indian church faced this sidewalk, and next to that was a cottage 
occupied, I think, by Archie (Isaac) Johns, who was customs officer — past that, towards Coal 
Harbour, was mostly cabins, and then Indian huts and camps of a temporary nature. 

St. James Church was built while I lived there — remember the first clearing of it — a narrow 
sidewalk, or rather walk was between Hastings Mill and Granville along the waterfront — should 
say thirty or forty yards from the shore; the wagon road going to New Westminster ran nearly 
parallel to this; would say about 200 or 300 feet further from the shore, and this clearance for the 
church was made between these two highways; the men made the shingles right on the spot from 
cedar trees cut there — I remember watching them shaving the shingles with big drawing knife — 
those shingles would last for fifty years. 

Perhaps originally the Indian church was open to the back so that the Indians came to the shore 
to go to church, but my father had lot cleared between the church and the shore, and fenced in — 
can remember meeting at this church of Indians, but don't think it was used often in my time, 


although in good repair, but if you at any time think I can be of assistance to you don't hesitate to 

I just heard of Alex McLean's death over the radio. I knew him and of him quite well. Last time I 
saw him some years ago at the Exhibition Grounds looking after the water slide. 

Theo. Bryant. 

Mrs. Emily Strathie, now Mrs. Emily Eldon: 

"We lived exactly opposite the parsonage on Water Street. There was no Indian church there when I 
came in the spring of 1 886. The Indian trail up the bank was to the west of the stable. When the Great 
Fire took place one of Rev. Hall's cows escaped into the water, the other was found dead across the 
Indian trail." 

James McWhinnie, at Moodyville in 1878: 

"I was not much of a churchgoer in those days. I don't recall any Indian church." 

W.D. Haywood, arrived Granville, 1885: 

"I do not recall an Indian church on Water Street shore." 

Mrs. Angus Fraser, who lived on the corner of Cordova and Carrall streets in 1873: 

"Do not remember Indian church." 

Mrs. Edith Nelson, nee Cordiner, born in Granville, 187?: 

"I cannot recall Indian church." 

Rev. John P. Hicks, editor, Western Recorder, Victoria, 29 July 1932: 

"The Rev. Jas. Turner was a close friend of mine. I doubt that a photograph was ever taken of the little 
Indian church, for I did my best to get one a few years ago." 

Rev. J.H. White, D.D., Sardis, 11 July 1932: 

"A reference to Cornish's Encyclopaedia shows that James Turner was stationed at New Westminster as 
assistant to A.E. Russ, M.A.; the New Westminster charge would certainly include Granville. This was in 
1 873. In 1 874 James Turner was placed at Burrard Inlet, and for 1 875, '76, '77, Thomas Derrick. 

"For years before 1873 the minister stationed at New Westminster held services at Moody's Mill, and 
doubtless from the earliest days at Granville. I know that my father did, and distinctly remember going 
with him more than once to Moodyville. I have some of his journals but they are very fragmentary. The 
only record I have been able to find is dated Tuesday, September 4 th 1866, 'Drove Mrs. White to Burrard 
Inlet today in buggy. This is the first buggy ride we have had since coming to British Columbia. I had 
intended preaching at Moody's Mill, but met the foreman coming into town' (New Westminster) 'and 
concluded to postpone the visit to the mill.'" 

Archives Dept., Victoria. Newspaper article in Province by A.E. Goodman: 

"Mrs. Fraser said that the first church here was undoubtedly the little Episcopalian place of worship, St. 
James Church, just off the trail leading from Granville to Hastings Mill." 

Note: Archives Dept. are without sketch of Indian church. 

From "Romance of Vancouver," published by Native Sons of B.C., 1926, page 8, being a copy of an 
unknown article written by "Old Timer" in the World newspaper, Vancouver, 6 January 1912: 

"During the pastorate of Rev. James Turner there was a Methodist Church and parsonage built, all, or 
most of the money being subscribed by the iniquitous Gastown. Both were swept away by the fire of 

Mrs. Emily Eldon, 20 July 1932: 


"I lived across the way from the parsonage, but I don't remember the Indian church. I came here in March 
1 886, March 1 st 1 886. I remember them building the hall, it was just a few feet, only a little, east of the 
parsonage; the hall had just been completed a short while when it was burned in the fire; a second one 
was built in the same place, just like it only larger perhaps, after the fire. The stable was west of the 
parsonage, not far, perhaps fifty feet. They might have turned the Indian church into a stable; I am quite 
sure we never worshipped in the Indian church." 

Extracts taken from records of Board of Home Missions, United Church of 
Canada, 299 Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario, 10 September 1932. 

1 . Extract from Volume III- Methodist Missionary Notices of Canada. 

Burrard Inlet, Thomas Derrick, page 85, 1876. 

When at home he also preaches to a congregation of Indians in the afternoon. This work amongst 
the natives has so increased on his hands that he finds it necessary to erect a church for their 
accommodation, and a subscription has been taken up for this purpose. The people of the Inlet 
are remarkable for their public spiritedness and liberality. 

2. Extract from Methodist Missionary Report, 1875-6. 

Burrard Inlet, page XI: 

This branch of our work has been assuming a most interesting feature on this Mission. Not only 
has there been a spirit of enquiry after the God of Missions, but evidence has been given of faith 
in Christ, the possession of spiritual joy and the strength of grace. We have been trying to teach 
them that, as Christians, we are to make sacrifices for Christ, and become workers for God. To 
this their response is most pleasing, as will be seen by the following facts: by contributions among 
themselves they have purchased the lumber for building a church; by free labour they have 
cleared the ground and placed the lumber in readiness for building. We hope soon to see, by 
another effort, a House of God erected in which the Indians around the shores of this beautiful 
inlet shall worship their God. Hitherto they have been worshipping in the parsonage, where we 
have formed a class, and where among them baptisms have been administered and marriages 
solemnized. The scene will not soon be forgotten when the tribe witnessed the public baptism 
and marriage of the chief Lah-wa. On the review of the past year of mercies we thank God and 
take courage. 

[Signed] Thos. Derrick. 

Sumas and Chilliwack, page XII: 

During the year we have included in our circuit a little village named Popquom, where we have 
succeeded in building a church. We have now five Indian churches; a membership of 60, with 15 
on trial, making a total of 75. 

[Signed] Charles M. Tate. 

3. Extract from Methodist Missionary Report, 1876-1877. 

Burrard Inlet, page XI: 

The Indian church which, in my last report, I referred to as a thing being prepared for, has been 
completed, and I am happy in being able to report that by the liberality of the Indians, and a few 
white friends, that it is free — no debt, thank God. 

A visit from our dear Bro. Tate during the past year in his missionary rounds, was a great blessing 
to our Indians, and as night after night, he (in their own tongue) preached to them of Jesus, their 
hearts were filled with joy. We pray that your missionary income may greatly increase, and that 
we may soon see the right men appointed to the Naas and Fort Rupert. 

[Signed] Thos. Derrick. 


Note: Rev. Tate told me (JSM) he was not present at the marriage of Chief Lah-wa, but heard all about it 
at the time, and remember him well. 

Extract from Commemorative Review of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and 
Congregational Churches in British Columbia, by Rev. E.A. Davis, 1925: 

From this centre [New Westminster] regular preaching was maintained at Ladner, North Arm 
[Ebume] Burrard Inlet, in the school house at Hastings Sawmill, and in the cookhouse at 
Moodyville, Chilliwack, Langley and Maple Ridge. In 1874 Burrard Inlet became a separate 
charge, and the Rev. James Turner was stationed at that point, Granville, which was then known 
by the more popular name of Gastown. Gassy Jack was the nickname of a saloonkeeper from 
which Granville received its name. A lot was purchased from the government for the sum of two 
hundred dollars on which Mr. Turner built his parsonage. The following year an Indian church was 
built on the same lot for the use of the Indians who were working at the Hastings Sawmill. This 
was the first church of any kind to be built on the site of the city of Vancouver. The lot was lapped 
by the waters of the inlet. The disastrous fire which destroyed the first Vancouver took both 
church and parsonage. A large hall was afterwards erected on the lot which served for church 
purposes until the waterfront property was needed for business purposed when the Homer Street 
Church was built [now Labor Temple]. When residential Vancouver moved to the West End the 
present Wesley Church was erected, and may well feel proud of being the mother of some thirty 
churches throughout the city and district. 

Methodist Missionary Notices of Canada, Vol. Ill, pages 84 and 85, 1876: 

Burrard Inlet, Thomas Derrick. The full quotation given on previous page reads: 

This is one of the busiest places in the province. The two sawmills employ in their different 
departments not fewer than five hundred men. Vessels from almost every part of the world come 
to the inlet for lumber. A fleet of eight or ten ships may be seen lying in the harbour at one time 
waiting for cargoes. Bro. Derrick feels especially at home among these shipmasters and 
lumbermen. He preaches at each mill three Sabbaths in succession, and on the fourth goes to 
the North Arm of the Fraser. When at home he also preaches to a congregation of Indians in the 
afternoon. This work among the natives has so increased on his hands that he finds it necessary 
to erect a church for their accommodation, and a subscription has been taken up for this purpose. 
The people at the Inlet are remarkable for their public spiritedness and liberality. 

Thos. Derrick died on a train whilst going east from San Francisco in Spring of 1 880. Authority Eb. 
Robson who (son of Dr. Robson) met him in San Francisco at that time, 1880. 

Memo of conversation, 31 July 1 936 with Mrs. R.M. Bower, daughter of Benjamin Springer of Moodyville: 

"David Milligan was a Methodist, I know that. He had something to do with Sexsmith, out in Richmond, 
Lulu Island. 

"Jonathan Miller's wife was an Anglican; Jonathan was not a very churchy man; all the Miller girls were 
married in the Church of England. Mrs. Todd Lees (Carrie Miller) tells me she knows nothing of any 
Methodist Church; she says she was christened in Church of England. 

"My father, Benjamin Springer, together with all his brothers and sisters, were baptized in the Roman 
Catholic Church, but turned Anglican. I was born in 1 882, and I remember going to our Moodyville 
schoolhouse to church, then to St. James, and finally father helped to build Christ Church; my godmother 
was Mrs. Bishop Sillitoe. 

Mrs. Hugh Nelson: "He is an adherent of the Episcopal Church." Biographical Dictionary of Well Known 
British Columbians. 

Memo, conversation, 31 July 1936, Mrs. Alice Crakanthorp (of Hastings Sawmill, 1873) and close friend 
of Miller girls: 


"Capt. Soule was Church of England. David Milligan was storekeeper at Moodyville and a Methodist; 
Cordiner was a Freemason. Mr. Miller was a Methodist but Carrie was confirmed at old St. James 
Church." (See above.) 

Extract from records, Land Registry, Vancouver. 

5 January 1 877, Lots 1 4 & 1 5 

Grant from Crown to William Pollard. Lots 14 & 15, Block VI. O.G.T. 

This property was partly on dry land, partly on beach of Burrard Inlet, see plan, Granville 
Townsite, 1 870. Lot 1 6 is the northwest corner of Water and Abbott streets. Each lot was 66 feet 
wide. Rev. W. Pollard was chairman of the B.C. District of the Methodist Church. 

12 APRIL 1877, LOTS 14 & 15 

William Pollard conveys property to the Trustees of the Burrard Inlet Congregation of the Methodist 
Church of Canada. Trustees, as shown by Land Registry books, Registry of Absolute Fees, Vol. 5, page 
13. Jonathan Miller, Rev. Thomas Derrick, Hugh Nelson, Peter Cordiner (Mrs. D.R. Reid says 
Presbyterian), William Soule (Mrs. D.R. Reid says Anglican), Benjamin Springer, David Milligan. 

"William Pollard," says Ernest Hall (1932), son of Rev. Joseph Hall, Methodist minister at time of Great 
fire, "was my grandfather." 

Springer baptized R.C., turned Anglican. Auth. his daughter Ruby Bower: Church of England. 

27 December 1886, Lot 14 

The Methodist Church, under corporate seal, conveys lot 14 to Robert G. Tatlow. Page 253. 

4 January 1887, East 1 / 2 Lot 14 

Robert G. Tatlow conveys east half of lot 14 to Rt. Hon. Ernest King, Earl of Kingston, who, 1 
September 1890, conveys it to Jessie M. Major. 

31 MAY 1890, WEST % LOT 14 

Robert G. Tatlow conveys west half of lot 14 to John Hill Twigg (General Twigg of Twigg Island). 

21 September 1888, Lot 15 

Methodist Church conveys lot 15 to John B. Lovell. 

The Methodist Hall. 

(Stood on Lot 1 5, afterwards numbered 1 1 3 and 1 1 5 Water Street.) 

Extract, article by Mrs. Mary O'Connor, Western Recorder, October 1893. 

"Every Tuesday evening a class meeting was held at the house of Mrs. Josephine Sullivan, when seven 
was the largest number present." (March 1884.) 

"The school house became too small," "decided to rent a place," "only available place was Blair's Hall, a 
saloon in front, hall at back," "decided to build a hall for ourselves," "Rev. Robson preached at opening 
services, May 23 rd 1886," "big fire, June 13 th 1886," "after fire rebuilt same shape, same size." (Fall of 

Altered 1920. Demolished 1924. Building permit 19 February 1924. $22,000. 


19 July 1935 - Indian Church at Granville, 1875-6. First Methodist Church in 
Vancouver. First church in Vancouver. 

In conversation today with Mr. Ernest Robson, son of the late Dr. Robson, pioneer Methodist minister, he 
told me that, while his father was never stationed at the parsonage at Granville, he had often visited there 
and that his recollection was, and that he had confirmed it by conversing with Mrs. [blank] nee Thompson, 
daughter of the Rev. Thompson who was stationed at Granville, that the old Indian church was during 
later years, and prior to its destruction by fire on 13 June 1886, used by the children as a playhouse. He 
said that Mrs. [blank] said she had often played in it. 

Upon showing him the map of Granville, August 1885, made for insurance purposes showing the exact 
locations of every building, and pointing out a small building touching the shoreline immediately in front of 
the parsonage, he said he thought that was the boathouse, and recalled it because as a boy, he slipped 
through the slats of the wooden ways up which they drew their boats, dropped as far as his neck, and had 
to be sawn out. I pointed out that the Indians tied their canoes to the steps and he replied that he was 
under the impression that the Indian church adjoined the boat house. 

J.S. Matthews, City Archivist, Vancouver. 

See Early Vancouver, Vol. 2. 

The first Methodist in Vancouver, Mrs. Josephine Sullivan. 

Rev. CM. Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary, 16 July 1932: 

"Mrs. Josephine Sullivan was the first Methodist in Vancouver, a coloured lady, wife of 'Old Man' (also 
coloured) Sullivan, cook at the Moodyville Sawmill. When her husband died, Arthur, her son, moved over 
to a new sort of place which was starting at Granville, and brought his mother with him. Arthur was 'sort of 
dark,' too." 

See Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931, re Sullivans. 

The first Methodist Hall (used as first church). 

Extract, Letter, Ernest S. Robson, son of Rev. Ebenezer Robson, D.D., 10 July 1932: 

"My statement re first Water Street hall is correct, as can be proved by my father's diary. The following 
extracts from the article by Mrs. N. O'Connor of New Westminster, as published in the Western Recorder 
of October 1 893 will be of interest: 

Every Tuesday evening a class meeting was held at the house of Mrs. Josephine Sullivan, when 
seven was the largest number present. This was the extent of the membership at this time, March 
1 884. Thursday evening was prayer meeting at the parsonage. Mr. W.H. Irwin, the school teacher 
in Granville, was the local preacher and he would take charge of some of the church services. He 
has since become minister in the United States. The school house became too small to hold the 
congregation, so it was decided by the officials to rent a larger place. The only available place 
was Blair's Hall. A saloon was on the front of the lot, and the hall at the back; the access to it was 
through an alley. There was a Chinese washhouse on the side where the entrance to the hall 
was. A Chinese lady was shot one Saturday night in the washhouse and it cast quite a gloom 
over the service the next day. 

In the fall of 1885 revival services were held. 

About the time the meetings closed there was a great influx of people from everywhere, as the 
C.P.R. terminus was to be at Coal Harbour. The Presbyterians were holding services at this time, 
too; had not been long in the field. It was not very satisfactory to hold services in the hall any 
longer, so it was decided to build a hall for ourselves. Mrs. B.H. Wilson donated the lot, if my 
memory is correct, and the hall was built with some volunteer labour. There were subscriptions to 
the building fund. Rev. E. Robson preached the opening services, May 23 rd 1886, and three 


weeks later the big fire of June 13 1 886 came and the hall and parsonage were both burned with 
contents. After the fire it was rebuilt, same shape, same size. Services were held in different 
buildings until the hall was finished. 

"I am sorry there are no illustrations with Mrs. O'Connor's article. Mrs. O'Connor's wedding was the only 
one solemnized in the second Water Street Hall; this took place 19 June 1887. 

"Ernest S. Robson." 

The first Methodist parsonage. 

Extract, letter, 5 July 1932, by Ernest S. Robson, son of Rev. Ebenezer Robson, D.D.: 

"I was a guest at the old parsonage, built by the Rev. James Turner, during the summer of 1 880. I have 
never seen a picture of it. The services were held in the village school house until just before the Fire, 
when the first Water Street Hall, built by the Rev. Joseph Hall was dedicated, my father coming over from 
Nanaimo in order to take part in the services." 

The placing of these buildings may be inexact in view of account, see Weekly News-Advertiser, 3 October 
1888, which says, "the first parsonage was built on lot 14, which, together with the adjoining lot, No. 15, 
was kindly donated by the Provincial Government." 

The Rev. Mr. Tate, since died, once said, "When the survey was made, the parsonage was found to be 
on the street." 

The facts probably are that no one knows exactly where it did stand. Probably, like many other early 
buildings, it was built on ground which the builder thought or guessed to be the location of the lot of land. 

J.S. Matthews, June 1933. 


Maps of the location since found. JSM, 1 934. See World newspaper, 1 896. See Sanborn Fire 
map, 1885. 


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Capt. James Cook's arrival at Nootka. 

Rev. CM. Tate conversation, J.S. Matthews, 19 December 1932. 

Rev. CM. Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary, just celebrated his 80 th birthday, and suffering in bed in 
consequence of too many visitors, helped to consecrate the first Indian church in Granville (Vancouver) 
soon after his arrival in British Columbia in 1870, and afterwards served as itinerant missionary to Indians 
at various places, for instance, Fort Simpson, Bella Bella, Ocean Falls, Rivers Inlet, Yale, Nooksahk, 
Chilliwack, Musqueam, Snauq, Nanaimo, Nootka and Victoria, etc. 

"Oh, I must tell you what they told me on the west coast" (of Vancouver Island). "When I was over there, 
the west coast Indians told me — that's quite a long time ago, too, in the 1870s or 1880s — that their 
ancestors saw the first ships coming to Nootka; Capt. Cook's ships; they sent for the conjurers; wise men 
you can call them if you like. 

"I suppose the Indians first saw the ships far off on the horizon; anyway their sails were seen some 
distance out to sea, and with the hull half or completely out of sight owing to distance, would look rather 
mysterious to people who had never seen such things. The white sails were heaving and rising with the 
waves; the sails probably were not very white; anyway, they were very visible as the ships were tacking 
up and down in order to make the land. The conjurers said that the moon men had come down, and were 
using big snakes for a canoe, tacking backwards and forwards. 

"When the ships finally got to Nootka they dropped anchor and, of course, as the anchor chains dropped 
through the hawse pipe, they made a great noise. The conjurers said that was the moon men speaking, 
and the Indians fled to the woods. 

"After a while, so I was told, the young men, the young braves, said, 'You only die once, let's go out and 
see what it's all about; suppose we take a canoe and go out.' So they did. They wore sea otter garments; 
very valuable furs now, very valuable indeed, but quite common with the Indians at that time. When they 
got out to the ships and saw the white faces of the men, why, that confirmed what the conjurers said 
about the moon men; it looked as though the conjurers were right. Finally they approached closer when 
some of the moon men came to the edge of the ship and let down some coloured beads on a string; 
some of the braver Indians went closer, and then beads were dropped into the canoe. Ultimately one or 
two of the moon men came down the ladder a little way, and dropped some beads into the canoes, and 
finally three or four of the Indians were persuaded to leave their canoes, and climb up the ladder to the 
ship's deck. 

"Everything pointed to confirm the conjurer's statements that these were the moon men. The moon men 
wore yellow, they had a brass band around their caps, they had brass epaulets and brass buttons. Then 
the captain of the ship came, and blew on the fur of their sea otter garments, and his features showed 
surprise at the fine furs. 

"One of the young Indians said to the other, 'I think he wants our coats,' and the companion replied, 'if 
you will give him yours I will give him mine too,' so both did, and then the captain of the moon men said, 
'you have given me your coats; now I will give you mine,' and then some undervests and underdrawers 
were brought, and the Indians were shown how to put them on. They were well pleased. 

"Next, the two young men were invited down in the ship, and the captain called to the steward or 
someone to bring some biscuits, and ship's biscuits or something of the sort were brought on a pan, and 
the captain pointed to his mouth. The two Indians looked at each other, and said, in their own language, 
of course, 'we never eat bones.' Then another pan was brought, this time with some red stuff on it, jam, 
and the same performance of pointing to the mouth repeated. The two young Indians decided that these 
moon men eat blood and bones. One of the moon men took one of the 'bones' and broke it, and placed a 
piece of blood (jam); I think they told me, 'dipped it in the blood,' and ate it. The two Indians decided they 
did not care for that sort of food, and abstained. 

"The captain then sent for some new tin plates from below. These were brought and held up to the light of 
the port hole and, of course, reflected their faces, the ceiling, and everything else. The two Indians now 
concluded that the moon men had brought the stars with them. Finally the tin plates were presented to 
the Indians. 


"When the two young fellows went on shore, highly delighted, they told the conjurers that they had seen 
the moon men all right; the conjurers were right, they were the moon men and they had brought the stars 
with them. 

"The whole incident," concluded Mr. Tate, "I was told, put the Nootka Indians forever on a higher plane 
than any other tribe, and made them the most important tribe on the coast, for it was they who had 
brought the moon men and the stars to the Indians. 

"About their houses. I never saw a palisaded Indian fort; their houses were their forts. When they were 
attacked, they ran, I suppose, to their houses. They cut little holes in the thick sides of their houses, and 
shot at their enemies with bow and arrow through those little holes. Then again, in many of the houses, 
the earthen floor was two, perhaps three feet below the bottom of the outside wooden walls and the 
ground level outside the house, so that when the Indians were squatted on the floor inside, their heads 
were below the ground level outside, and that afforded still more protection from arrows, etc. 

"The tops of the four corner posts of their houses were grooved to receive and hold the cross logs or 
plates; then right down the centre, longways down the middle was a great beam to carry the roof. Inside, 
the four corner posts were usually ornamented with carvings. The sides of the building were of thick cedar 
slabs, split with deer's horn wedges, and laid horizontally not perpendicularly one above the other to form 
the wall" (see Captain Cook's Voyages, drawing of Nootka) "between two upright stakes of moderate 
dimensions, and these stakes were lashed together with green cedar bark, or some such strapping, which 
held the stakes together and thus kept the slabs of the wall in position. There were no windows, just an 
entrance without door, and usually there were no curtains or such protection from the weather across the 
entrance. The beams above the wall were very light; they carried little weight, only the roof, or such 
weight of the roof as was not taken by the big beam down the centre; the walls supported themselves 
only; they had no part of the weight of the roof to carry. The light stakes holding up the walls were at 
intervals, the horizontal wall boards or slabs slipped in between them, and then the stakes strapped 


"For use at the potlatch, there was a sort of platform which they used to build in front of their houses. It 
was supported on four stout posts with the usual grooves at the top to receive the cross log or plate. The 
platform was high in the air, oh, perhaps ten or fifteen feet, and was perhaps five feet wide by fifteen or 
twenty feet long, just a very high platform from which they threw the blankets or other gifts at the potlatch. 
The name of the man for whom the gift was intended would be called out, and a blanket from the pile on 
top of the platform would be thrown, and come flying through the air to the crowd below; if the proper man 
caught it, well and good, but it was quite a part of the proceeding for others to try and get it. There would 
be a sort of scramble. Some would have long spears and would spear the blanket as it came flying down; 
then four or five would grab at it, and cutoff with a knife as much as he could of what he had grabbed; 
thus the blanket would be cut into four or perhaps five or more pieces, and each man would retain 
whatever portion he had cut off. Afterwards the piece would be unraveled, and the wool woven into a 
blanket more to their liking. 


"The first Indians I saw were at Neah Bay, not far from Cape Flattery, in 1 870. The garments they were 
wearing then were a sort of sack arrangement with holes for them to poke their heads and arms through. 
Today you see local Indians wearing headdresses of Indian feathers, etc. I never saw those headdresses 
in the early days, and it is my opinion that they are inventions which the coast Indians have copied from 
the pictures they have seen of prairie Indians." (Note: Paull says they wore eagle's feathers in their hair; 
see photograph of "Faithful Jim," drowned in Fraser River, 1902.) 


"You can always tell a canoe belonging to a Squamish Indian. No other canoes I know of have the 
straight stem with the projecting counter above it." (Note: Paull looked at a photograph of Vancouver 
"Before the Fire," panorama view of waterfront and Hastings Mill, and on which two Indian canoes 
appear, and said, "Those are the canoes of our former enemies, the northern Indians." Both ends of the 
canoe sweep upwards.) 


A cup of tea, afternoon tea, was brought in to Rev. CM. Tate as he lay in bed, and he continued: 

"Yes, the Indians have certainly been valuable friends to the whiteman; they are a sincere, honest, God- 
fearing race. To my own knowledge, up around Yale anyway, they succoured many a poor starving 
miner, and asked no return, nor told what they did." (See Mr. Tate's remarks elsewhere.) "And as for 
honesty, why, I remember Mr. Wells, the celebrated dairy farmer up at Sardis and Chilliwack telling me 
with much amusement how some man had come from eastern Canada to him for advice where to take up 
land, and he had shown him a place near at hand, remarking that an Indian reserve adjoined it. The man 
had replied, 'Oh, that's too bad; steal everything you've got.' 'Well,' Mr. Wells told me he had replied, 'you 
see that shed, it is full of bacon and ham, and there is another one full of vegetables; never have I missed 
a thing, and as for locking the doors of our house, why, we simply never do it.' 

"Then again, when I was preaching at Snauq, old Chief George's" (Chip-kaay-am) "community or potlatch 
house under the present Burrard Bridge, I would call out at the end of the meeting asking if anyone had 
anything to say, or sometimes old Chief George would do it himself. In any case, he would usually get up 
and make some remarks of some sort, give the young men some good advice as to how to deport 
themselves, and the proper things to do. Old Chief George was, as Jim Franks" (Chillahminst) "says, a 
very good, kind man, a fine Indian. 

"Then, when I was up at Bella Bella, the Bella Bella Indians contributed their mite to the help of the poor 
in London, England. I had told them of how people in the poorer districts of London, England, were 
starving, so they, they themselves, took up a collection; my story had appealed to them. They said to me, 
'Why don't they come out here; plenty of food out here if they would come.'" 

I suggested to the Rev. Mr. Tate that the stories associated around the various legendary rocks around 
English Bay, etc., had been wrongly stressed by writers as tales of romance rather than, as they should 
be, allegorical truths illuminating morality, and that my interpretation of the legends of Chitchulayuk (Point 
Grey) and Slahkayulsh (Siwash Rock) — Indian men, in both instances, turned into stone for punishment — 
was that they were intended to be an exemplification of the truths of morality, and was, in the case of 
Chitchulayuk, for the purpose of illustrating the folly of jealousy, and in the case of Slahkayulsh, the folly 
of greed. 

"Quite true," replied Mr. Tate, "you know of course, that Mount Baker is the 'Mother of All Indians.' The 
Indians said to me once, 'You say in your bible that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt; it's just as 
reasonable for the mother of Indians to have been turned into a mountain of snow.' It is a pity that the 
whitemen have not treated the Indians as well as the Indians have treated the whites. 

"The Indians are a splendid people if treated right. The New Zealanders fought for their rights; it might 
have been better if the Indians had done a little fighting. But old Sir James Douglas was at the bottom of 
it; if he had not treated them squarely at the first we probably should have had a fight on our hands. He 
did buy a good deal of their land, but when he applied to the British government for funds to buy land from 
the Indians for the settlers, the British government said they had no funds for that purpose, and that the 
proper thing to do was to sell what land he had to the whites, and with that money buy more land from the 
Indians. As an instance of what went on: when the Indians were approached to sell the Songhees 
Reserve, I told them that if they sold any land they would sell it forever. I got a stinging letter from 
Helmcken threatening to put me in jail for resisting the government; I told him to go to it. I asked a man in 
Victoria how much the Songhees Reserve was worth, and he said three millions, but all the Indians got 
for it was $400,000. 

"Which reminds me that the Indians got their flour from dried fern root — saak is the word for fern; Sooke 
at Victoria is named after it — after it is dried, fern root breaks up into a white powder. The Indian name is 
Swymuth for New Westminster; 'swy' means 'to buy'; the Indians gave it that name after they started to go 
down there to buy things from the traders. Esquimalt is much the same interpretation; both have the same 
meaning. The Indian name for the death dance was swyhee, quite different. Kokohpai on Marine Drive, 
now part of Locarno Beach, must have had a lot of crab apple trees there at one time; the Indian name for 
crab apple is kokwap; just another illustration of how dialects differ. I am not sure about the meaning of 
'Stuckale' (Great Northern Cannery, West Vancouver); it seems to me there must be a head or something 
there, a mountain. I once composed a hymn, and wanted a title for it, so I chose 'Stuckale to Jesus,' 


which interprets 'head of all, chief of chiefs,' or 'Jesus, head of all,' but I believe the local Squamish 
Indians have another meaning for it." 

Fort Simpson and northern Indians. 

"In 1 874 I was appointed to Fort Simpson, now Port Simpson, for the purpose of opening up a mission in 
that district; I remained at Fort Simpson but a few months; I was exchanged with the Rev. Thomas 
Crosby, who was located at Chilliwack, and made my home at Chilliwack." 

The "Biting Man" and Bella Bella. 

"In 1880 we opened a school for Indian youth — both sexes — at Bella Bella, and I was sent north again. It 
was at Bella Bella that my wife first remarked upon the sores upon the arms of the Indian girls, and urged 
enquiry as to how they were caused. We had been giving the girls medical treatment for sores on their 
arms, lacerations of different shapes but mostly crescent shaped, such as would be caused by teeth if the 
girls had been bitten, and some so septic as to be running sores. We discovered that certain of the male 
Indians belonged to a sort of secret order whose strange prerogative was that of biting people; this 
privilege was largely practiced on girls, rarely on men. The bites were on the thick of the arm, usually 
between elbow and shoulder; the teeth made marks like brands, and, of course, bites from teeth which 
knew no dentifrice from birth to death, might be expected to, and did cause, a good deal of blood 
poisoning. We were frequently obliged to cauterize wounds, to poultice them. Let me illustrate the 
situation by an experience I had; it must have been in 1882. 

"I was going on a pastoral visit to one of the villages near Ocean Falls, a place called Kokite, in a canoe 
with several Indians from Bella Bella together with their wives. When we were about a mile distant from 
Kokite, we caught the first sounds of the beating of Indian drums, gongs, singing, and the general noise of 
celebration. My Indian companions, both men and women, became alarmed, said it would be impossible 
to go on, and proposed to turn back. I protested with vigour, and said, 'no'; we must keep on, I said, the 
Great Father would protect all. With much trepidation they finally resumed paddling, and as we 
approached nearer, we could see on the shore one of the dancers with a rope around his body making 
his way down the beach to the water's edge, and apparently dragging after him half a dozen men who 
were making pretence of holding him back. I learned afterwards that he was the 'biting man.' 

"We landed, and I accosted the 'biting man,' who immediately withdrew to one of the houses with those 
men who had been pretending to hold him back. They barred the door after entering. My own Indian crew 
promptly took to the woods; they feared something or other, probably that the 'biting man' or his followers 
would attack me or us, or that there was going to be trouble. I protested to the 'biting man' and his 
companions against the manner of my reception. I told them I had come on a friendly visit, and what did it 
mean that they received us in this insulting manner. 

"The 'biting man' and his companions remained closeted within the house all day. On attempting to 
approach the building I was told that the 'biting man' was within, that I could not enter; no one was 
allowed to enter." 

The ceremony of initiation. 

"As explained to me, initiation into the secret order of the 'biting man' was a barbarous, diabolical 
ceremony. I was informed that the proposed initiates first went into the mountains, washed themselves 
with mountain stream water, brushed themselves with spruce boughs, etc., all to cleanse themselves; and 
then came back and — almost too horrible to contemplate — went to a graveyard, or somehow procured a 
piece of putrefying human flesh, and gnawed at that; after which they were admitted a member of the 
'biting man' order." (Note: Prof. Boas has written at length on this "order.") "One chief told me that, if they 
could, they would get instead the rib of a piece of deer with flesh on it, or something of the sort, and tear 
away with their teeth at that; deception, of course, he told me, but evidently they were not above avoiding 
the ordeal, if they could. 

"My wife and I were teaching the girls at our school at Bella Bella, and of course ministering to their sores. 
When other tribes found that we were successful in our healing we were rather overrun with appeals to 
establish schools." 


Experiences at Bella Coola. 

"I had another interesting experience at Bella Coola. We were endeavouring to get the Indians to accept 
the Christian teaching. You see, my tenure of office was at a period of time when the Indians were 
becoming fairly familiar with the white man and his habits. Prior to my period, the Indians had been left 
very largely to themselves, retained much of their old mode of living, kept very largely to old practices; but 
in my day, they had had, from their childhood, some sort of more or less remote association with the 
whiteman, spoke broken English, had a general conception of white man's methods. On the other hand, 
the whiteman had left the Indians pretty much to themselves. 

"But the natives had by no means lost their fear of their old enemies; times were not so remote that they 
could not recall some of the terrors of the past; nor had they abandoned their precautions to protect 
themselves from the attacks of their native foes. 

"In response to my pleadings I was told that it all sounded very good, but they enquired what, if they did 
as I asked, was to protect them from the attacks of their enemies. Their enemies would raid their villages, 
carry off such as they could catch of their women and children; the wolf dance was a protection against 
these depredations; it would make their enemies fear them. They agreed that they would be quite willing 
to accept our Christian teachings if we would first assure them of immunity from attack by killing off their 
enemies for them. Otherwise, what protection would they have?" 


"The wolf dance was a representation of the wolf. The Indians had a couple of shutters or clappers which 
they clapped together, and at the same time they howled, 'whoaf, whoaf,' in imitation of the wolf. The wolf 
dance had nothing to do with the 'biting man'; that was a secret order, entirely separate. 

"In this connection I might tell you that, whilst travelling with the Indians — it was in the seventies, on trails 
about Nanaimo — I asked the reason for the mounds of shells frequently to be seen deep in the forest. 
The reply was made me, 'that is where our people have been eating.' What had happened was this. 
When the enemy appeared, the warrior sent the weaker to the woods, and subsequently carried food, 
clams, fish, etc., to them; after the foe had departed the weaker would return again from the woods. The 
Yuclataws were the most dreaded tribe on the coast; they were not satisfied with killing their enemies, 
but, so the Indians informed me, cut off the heads of the vanquished, stuck the head on a pole, fastened 
the pole upright in the canoe, and proceeded home in triumph." 


"As you know, the Indians are very fond of oolichan grease, a rather disgusting edible for Europeans to 
whom it has a most repulsive odour. But Indians will smother it over all kinds of food, and smack their lips. 
I recall one instance when I arrived very late one night at an Indian fishing village. I was immediately 
ushered into the chief's house, and his wife began to prepare food for me. A fresh lot of halibut had just 
come in, and she began to cook. Out came her oolichan box, and the big horn spoon, a sort of great 
ladle, made I think from the horn of the big horn sheep. Of course, the more grease — they valued it — the 
greater the honour to the guest. I protested that I was unworthy of so much grease, but without avail; to 
my chagrin, she was lavish, and simply showered her esteem on me by smothering the halibut with the 
grease. I never acquired a taste for it; I am hopeless, without hope, that I ever shall. 

"I recall most vividly the first time I consented to eat with an Indian family. It was in 1 871 in the community 
house at Nanaimo. I happened to arrive just as the family gathered around a large wooden platter of 
boiled cod. I asked the privilege of dipping in with them, when, to their astonishment, they discovered that 
I was willing to eat with them; they seemed overjoyed." 

Indian food-gardens. 

"The Indians had no gardens such as we know; they got their livelihood from water and beach. Then, too, 
they used a lot of berries, shalal and other berries, which for winter's use they dried and made up in big 
flat compressed cakes on the same principle as our raisins. When wanted, they would break off a piece, 
soak it in water, and cook. The Tsimpsians, in the north, preserved theirs in grease." 


Indian fishing. 

"Originally, before they got our nets, the Indians fished with frames of slats placed close together to keep 
the fish from getting through — not small fish, but such as salmon. The frame was made of small round 
horizontal poles to which were affixed perpendicular slats of split cedar, fastened by rope or bark 
entwined so as to hold them to the poles and form a frame. The frames were sunk into the water, and put 
down in the gravel with stakes with sharpened points." (Note: see August Kitsilano's narrative explaining 
how the sandbar where Granville Island now stands was used to catch or trap fish by the Indians for 
Snauq, Burrard Bridge.) "The slats kept the fish from getting through The Indians put the frames right 
across the river, leaving out a slat or two in the middle where the water was swift. Above this opening 
they usually had an overhead walk, upon which they would stand and spear — or jag with a hook — the 
fish, usually salmon, as they came through the opening. Sometimes they would have a canoe lying 
alongside the frame to throw the fish into; at Bella Coola I have seen a canoe almost sunk with the load of 
fish, generally salmon. 

"In later days the poor Indians felt the effects of the white man's fishing laws; they fined the poor Indian 
ten or fifteen dollars if he went out and caught a salmon in a stream which, from time immemorial, his 
ancestors had caught their fish. Which reminds me that they took his land as well." 

The Indian land question. 

"I remember once an assemblage of about one hundred Indians, mostly chiefs — I acted as interpreter for 
them — mostly chiefs, assembled at Victoria, and after discussing their land complaints with Sir Richard 
McBride for about three hours, he replied saying, 'You have no case.' A big raw boned Indian, a monster 
of a fellow, from Douglas Lake, got up and said, 'You say we have no case?' 

"Then he made movements as though rolling up his sleeves, and said, 'McBride' — he did not even say 
Mr. McBride — 'when men disagree they usually fight.' Sir Richard looked alarmed. 'Now I want to fight 
you; I will fight you; not your Indian law, but with your whitemans law. For money you give title to land; 
where did you get your title from? When people give title, they must first have acquired it themselves. 
Where did you get your title from?' That was pretty good reasoning, eh? 

"Another chief from up the coast said, 'You say you got your title from the Queen. What is the Queen's'" 
(Queen Victoria) "'title to us. Where did she get her title from that she can give it to you?'" 

Sir James Douglas. 

"The Indians thought a great deal of Sir James Douglas. That land which he got from them around 
Victoria he bought from them. True he gave them only a few blankets, some biscuits and molasses, but 
he bought it. He once wrote to the British government that British Columbia was filling up, and that he 
wanted money to buy land from the Indians so that he could sell it to the settlers, otherwise there might 
be trouble but the British government's reply was that they had no money for the purchase of lands, that 
he had better sell a little and use the proceeds to buy more. My opinion is that if the whole case had gone 
to the Privy Council that the Indians would have won out." (See below.) 

Indian respect for British law and Judge Begbie. 

"The Fraser River Indians had a great respect for Judge Begbie. When the toughs from California bound 
for the Cariboo shot the Indians for sport, Judge Begbie came along with his bluejackets, held court in the 
open along the Cariboo road, and the offending white man would be strung up without much formality 
soon afterwards. I remember, soon after the occurrence, being told by white men how, atone of these 
open air courts, Judge Begbie had concluded his remarks to the offender whom he had sentenced to be 
hanged for shooting Indians (above Yale) in cold blood, by saying, 'I wish you to understand that, under 
the British flag, an Indian's life is just as valuable as any other life." 

Kindly disposition of Indians. 

(See above.) "I quite agree with you that the Indian people are a splendid people if treated right; it's a pity 
the whiteman has not treated them as well as they have treated the whiteman. The New Zealand Maoris 
fought for their rights; it might have been better if our Indians had fought for theirs, but old Sir James 
Douglas was at the bottom of it; if he had not treated them squarely at the first we probably should have 
had a fight on our hands. He did buy a good deal of their land, but when he applied to the British 


government for funds to buy land for the settlers from the Indians, the British government said they had 
no funds for that purpose, and that the proper thing to do was to sell land to the white, and with that 
money buy more land from the Indians. 

"As I found them, all Indians were a kindly, hospitable, joyful and entertaining people. Once you got on 
the right side of them there was little too good for their friends to whom they gave the best they had. Many 
of the miners returned down the Fraserfrom the Cariboo 'dead broke,' and without food, and were helped 
back to civilization largely through the kindness of the Indians who frequently gave them supper, bed and 
breakfast — such as it was — asking no return, and in that way the miners got one day further on their 
journey to the coast." 

Christianity's mysterious power. 

Query: Looking back over the years, Mr. Tate, and with the mellowed judgment which long experience 
and white hairs give, do you consider your life's effort wasted? 

"I should say not," vigorously ejaculated Mr. Tate in his indignant retort; there was no mistaking the 
meaning of the answer to the impertinent question; then he continued. 

"Critics have often told us of the futility of trying to civilize Indians by simply preaching to them without first 
educating them, but experience has taught that it is much easier to educate the head after the heart is 
made right. Lawless barbarians have never become law-abiding citizens by book learning, but by 
Christianity we have seen the cannibal savage become a docile member of the community, and literally 
ask for the education that would enable him to compete with the educated people who had invaded his 
territory, and not be forever playing a losing game. 

"A lone result of missionary labour, the smoke-begrimed community house where a dozen families 
herded together under anything but moral and sanitary conditions, has given place to the individual family 
cottage, and war paint has been washed from their faces, the feathers combed out of their hair, and 
modern clothing has supplanted the blanket pinned around the body with a wooden skewer. The canoe 
has given place to the gas boat built by themselves, and so far as the Indians are concerned, life and 
property is perfectly safe for the white man in any part of the country, largely due to the work of the 
missionaries; at least, so said a government official to me a short time ago." 

Missionaries more valuable than warships. 

"Let me relate some of my experiences to prove that contention. Some time in the 1840s or 1850s the 
Bella Bellas made a raid on the Rivers Inlet Indians, carried off their women and children to be slaves, a 
most intolerable affront and degradation. A couple of decades later it fell to me to persuade some Bella 
Bellas to accompany me down to Rivers Inlet on missionary work. After our arrival at Rivers Inlet, one of 
my Indian companions brought the alarming report to me that he had overheard a conversation — the two 
tribes speak the same language — to the effect that under cover of the night, the Rivers Inlets proposed 
paying the Bella Bellas back. During the conversation overheard, the question had come up as to what 
was to be done with the white man, that was myself; the decision was that he would have to suffer the 
same fate as the rest of them, to cover up the deed. When they first brought the report to me, I said, 'We 
are in God's hands; he will take care of us.' 

"After dark I got out my magic lantern and slides, and we all went into the community house, and there, 
whilst the Indians of both tribes were all seated together, I displayed the lantern slides portraying the life 
of our Saviour, and gave the necessary explanations. After the entertainment was over, I saw the Rivers 
Inlet Indians wrap their blankets around them in that particular crouching attitude common to Indians, and 
one by one, slide off out into the darkness, went to their own shacks, lay down and went to sleep. The 
Bella Bellas with myself stayed in the big community house and did likewise. In the morning I said to my 
Indian companions, 'Do you see how the Great Father protects His children?' 


"Take the case of the schooner at Rivers Inlet whose crew was never again heard of. It is a legendary 
story, and it was in speaking to the Indians about the past that they told me of it. I don't remember the 
name of the vessel; I don't know that the Indians knew it themselves. From what I could learn, the 
schooner went into Rivers Inlet to buy furs, and an easy way to secure furs is to exchange liquor for them. 


The whitemen offered liquor, and the Indians scraped together all the furs that they could, and got liquor 
in exchange. In due time, the Indians said, 'Give us more liquor.' The whitemen replied, 'More furs, more 
liquor; no more furs, no more liquor.' The Indians had no more furs, so they found a way to get the liquor; 
they murdered the crew to get it, but those whitemen, indirectly, murdered themselves. 

"Then again, down at Victoria I have seen the Yuclataws and their old enemies from Cape Mudge and 
Campbell River sitting on the same bench singing hymns and prayer and — the Yuclataws were 


"No warships, nor half a dozen of them, could have brought about changes like these. 'In the earlier 
days,' an old friend said to me once, 'a man's life was not safe beyond a few miles outside Victoria,' and 
then my friend added, perhaps a little cynically, but not much, 'now you are safer among the Indians than 
among whites.'" 

The Rev. Mr. Tate was a guest of the City of Vancouver on 1 July 1 932 at the opening of the splendid 
Burrard Bridge which passes directly over Snauq, the Indian village where formerly he preached in the 
Indian potlatch house. He was a somewhat prolific writer. His works include Our Indian Missions in British 
Columbia, published by the Methodist Church in Toronto; translated the Gospel of St. Mark into an Indian 
language, published a book of hymns in Indian tongue, and a dictionary of Chinook jargon. Now over 80, 
he is a tall, venerable gentleman of clear complexion, white hair, stately carriage and kindly bearing. 

"Our dear old Dr. Tate," writes F.C. Stephenson of Toronto, "his life has counted for much. Any honour we 
can show him is small reward." 

Also see "Indian villages and landmarks," "Burrard Inlet and English Bay," "Before the Whiteman Came." 

Rev. CM. Tate died at 9 a.m. today (whilst this is being typewritten) at the home of his nephew and 
niece, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Watson, 1749 Nelson Street, Vancouver; an illuminating instance of the 
wisdom of getting historical material while it is procurable. J.S.M. 28 February 1933. 



RSDAY, MARCH 9, 1933 

The Moonmen at 
Nootka, 1778 


Snatches from recent conversa- 
tions with Rev. C. M. Tate, a nobt* 
Methodist missionary, who gave his 
life to the Indians; a butcher boy 
whose ecclesiastical training college 
was the eanos; who assisted in the 
dedication of the first church in 
Vancouver — buUt in 187S by the In- 
dians — and who died laet week, aged 
91, a beloved and happy man. 


k H, I must ten you **at the west 
oosst Indiana told me, ft long time 
ago, too, about the '70s, that when 
*h*y saw the tint ships coming into Nootjca, 
they sent for the conjurers; wis* men you 
may call them if you like. 

"The ships were far off on the hertson 
when first seen, end were tacking backwards 
and forwards to make the land, the sail* hear- 
ing and falling with the waves. The conjurers ; 
said it was the men from the moon who had j 
come down, and were using sea serpents, 
snakes they called them, for canoes. I sup- 
pose a ship with hull half down, owing to 
distance, with foam at her bow, and sails 
somewhat the grey color of the moon In day- j 
time, would look a little mysterious to 
those who had never seen such things. 

"Finally the ships anchored at Nootka, 
and, of course, a* the anchor chain ran 
through the hawse pipe, It made a great 
noise. The conjurers said it was the moon- 
men speaking; the Indians took to the 

"Then I was told, some young braves said 
•you only die once, let's take a canoe and 
go out,' bo they did. When they got closer 
and saw the white faces,' why, the con- 
jurers were right; they were 1*1 moonmen. 
The moonmen came to the edge of the ship 
and let down beads on a string, then the 
canoe went closer, and some heads were 
dropped in the canoe; one of the moonmen 
came down a rope ladder, and dropped more 
beads in the canoe; finally the braves were 
persuaded to climb up to the ship's deck. 
+ + + 

t*>T*HE moonmen had ft yellow band on 

•*- their caps, yellow epaulets, and yellow 

(brass) buttons; they were moonmen sure. 

"The Indiana wore sea-otter garments, 
extremely valuable furs now, but common 
then. The captain blew on their fun, and 
showed astonishment at their beauty. One 
of the Indians said to his comrade, 'I belle vs 
h* wants our 'coats'; the other replied, "I 
believe he does; if you will give him yours, 
I will give him mine,' and they did. Then 
the captain of the moonmen made sign*, 
'you have given me your coat, now I will 
give you mine.' Some undervests and un- | 
derdrawers were brought, and the Indians 
shown how to put them on. They were 

"Next they entered the cabin. The cap- 
tain called for a pan of biscuits, ship's bis- 
cuits, I suppose, and pointed to his mouth. 
The Indians looked askance at each other, 
and said, "We never eat bones.' Then an- 
other pan with red stuff, Jam. was brought, 
and one of the moonmen took a 'bone,* 
broke It, and 'dipped it In the blood.' The 
Indians decided the moonmen ate blood and 
bones; they did not care for such food. 

"Some new tin plates were brought, and 
held up to the light, and reflected the cell- 
ing, their faces, etc.; the Indians concluded 
the moonmen had brought the stars with 

"Then they went ashore again, taking 
the 'stars' with them, and the news that 
the wise men were right; It was the moon- 
men who had come, and they had brought 
the stars with them. The 'stars' were hung 
up In the huts as ornaments. 

"The Whole Incident, I was told, put the 
Nootka Indians on a higher plane than 
other tribes, for it was ttiey who had 
brought the moonmen and the stars to the 

•f + + 
«"you know, of course, that Mount 
Baker is the "Mother of All Indians.' 
The Indians said to me once, 'You say In 
your Bible that Lot's wife was turned into 
a pillar of salt; would it not be Just as 
reasonable for the 'Mother of Indians' to 
have been turned into a mountain of snow, 
or Slahkayulsh (Siwash Bock) the fisher- 
man into a column of rock? 

Query — "Looking backwards, Mr. Tate, 
and with that mellowed Judgment which 
long years, much tribulation, and whit* 
locks give, do you consider your life's effort 

Mi, Tate's answer (with much em- 
phasis) : "I should say not." 

Then calmly. "One missionary was more 
valuable than a warship; no warship, or 
fleet of warships, could have wrought such 
changes. Critics have often expounded the 
futility of trying to oivlllM by simply 
preaching at them, but experience has 
taught that you must reach the heart before 
you can educate the head." 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_057 


South Vancouver. Rowlings. Elk. 

Harry S. Rowlings, son of W.H. Rowlings, who in September 1868 took up land by preemption on the 
north bank of the Fraser River in what is now known as South Vancouver. 28 May 1 932. 

"No, I cannot say that I have ever seen any elk around Vancouver, but I have seen any quantity of elk 
horns. You know, east of Boundary Road, the dividing line between Greater Vancouver and Burnaby, and 
along the North Arm riverfront on towards New Westminster, there is a great stretch of low level land. I 
have seen lots of elk horns there in the early days, some rotten, some broken, some four or five prongs, 
but not rotten by any means, but I never saw a live elk." 

Query: What do you suppose became of all the elk? 

"I don't know; never heard of any. I went to live on our farm there with father in 1 868; I was just four years 
old. Father came out with the Royal Engineers; he worked on the North American Boundary Commission; 
he was a non-commissioned officer, corporal, and I have seen him sign his name, 'Corporal, N.A.B.C.,' 
which meant North American Boundary Commission. He had been in the Navy, I don't know how long, 
then he joined the army; he had a small pension of a shilling a day from the navy." 

Indian relics. 

"We used to dig up hornbone daggers out there, made of elk horns I think. I could point out the place 
pretty well, I don't think it is built on yet. We found them when we were trying to do a little gardening; the 
soil was good. Then we used to find a peculiar green stone mallet, a sort of green granite; where the 
Indians got it from I do not know; no stone anything like it anywhere around. 

"The place where we found those Indian relics was right on the river bank. About the centre of Lot 258 
there is a little creek; it runs into the North Arm of the Fraser River just east of Rowlings station on the 
Eburne-New Westminster interurban tram line. There is a little island there called Rowlings Island; there 
are half a dozen little islands in the North Arm of the river named after their first owners. Rowlings Island 
is just east of Rowlings station, and the little creek comes out right at the west end, opposite the west end 
of Rowlings Island. Our little garden was right along the creek, close to the river bank, and was just west 
of the creek on a little piece of flat. The site might be worth excavating for relics yet; I don't know." 

Logging in Stanley Park. Greer's Beach. Jericho. Gore Avenue. Main Street. 

"I did a good deal of logging around Vancouver in the early days. Some years before the fire, and when 
the only buildings were around Hastings Mill, I hauled timber for piling from between Gore Avenue and 
Main Street — north of False Creek — into Burrard Inlet over a skid road and with oxen. The skid road 
would be approximately on the site of Gore Avenue as it is now. I hauled timber from Brockton Point, 
shortly after the Fire in 1886, and also had a logging camp at Greer's Beach, now Kitsilano Beach, where 
I cut timber for the mills on False Creek. There was a man named Fader, there were four brothers of 
them, who had a mill where Robertson and Hackett's mill now is at the south end of Granville Street — 
under the Granville Street Bridge, north end — and we paid him 'so much' for sawing the logs into lumber. 
I also had a camp at the south end of Granville Street near Beach Avenue." 

Greer's Beach. 

"Our logging camp at Greer's Beach had its dump into the sea right in the centre of the bay, just west of 
the foot of Yew Street. We put a lot of logs in the water there; we had a smaller dump at the foot of 
Macdonald Street. That would be about 1 890; anyway, it was after the C.P.R. trestle bridge was built, 
because we used to go to Gastown over that trestle; the trestle was built before the old Granville Street- 
Third Avenue pile bridge." 

Preemption, South Vancouver. The late W.H. Rowlings, first settler in South 

"You see, my father, W.H. Rowlings, now deceased, settled on District Lot 258 on the north bank of the 
Fraser River in September 1868, and he lived there with his family until his death. My brother W.H. 
Rowlings, my sister Mrs. P.A. Byrne and myself, we all lived there during childhood. The surviving 
members of the family are Henry S. Rowlings, born 3 February 1 864, Mrs. P.A. Byrne, born 24 February 


1866, W.H. Rowlings, born 2 September 1867, all born at New Westminster, and Miss E.J. Rowlings, 
born on D.L. 258 after we went there, on 24 August 1 874." 

Old trails. 

"In those days, excursions were organized occasionally from New Westminster to Gastown, old Granville 
Townsite, down the Fraser River, around Point Grey, and into Burrard Inlet. The family went on those 
excursions on a number of occasions. At that time the means of communication from our home to either 
New Westminster or Gastown was by water. In the very early days there was a trail from New 
Westminster along the North Arm river bank to Musqueam; then there was a trail from George Black's at 
Hastings to Gastown which would accommodate pedestrians only; of course, from Hastings to 
Westminster there was a road. Just where the trail from Gastown to Jericho ran I am not sure, but there 
was a trail, and I will tell you how I know; because it started at the south end of the old False Creek 
Bridge, now Main Street. At the south end of the old Westminster Avenue bridge a man we called 'Crazy 
George' lived in a shack, and I have heard tell that one day some young fellow going to Jericho logging 
camp took a big board as he went by George's shack, slapped the side of the shack with all his might, let 
out a yell, and then ran. 'Crazy George' came out with a rifle, fired a few shots, and ran after the young 
fellow. There would be little in the yarn if it were not for the fact that they said he chased him all the way 
to Jericho." 


Also see Canon Sovereign, St. Mark's Church, Mrs. J.Z. Hall, etc. Also see Volume 3. 

North Vancouver. Moodyville. Spratt's Oilery. Herrings. Big trees. 

"In those days, there was nothing in North Vancouver excepting woods," remarked Mr. Duncan McDonald 
of 446 6 th Street West, North Vancouver, where he resides with his grandchildren, and who recalls 
Burrard Inlet in 1873, that is, earlier than any known person now living, for he came as a grown man; 
such as are known to have been living here then were mere little tots in 1873. 

"I was born in the 'Old Country' in 1 850, and when a young man of 21 , that was in 1 872, came to the 
Pacific Coast by way of the Union Pacific Railway to San Francisco, thence to Portland, Oregon by an old 
steamship, later wandered on to Bellingham, but finding that I was not yet on British Territory, struck off 
along the old telegraph trail through the forest and on foot by the only route to New Westminster. 
Ultimately, I reached Moodyville in 1873, and have lived on the north shore ever since. I have worked all 
my life at logging, many years for the Moodyville Sawmill. I am now 84, have nine grandchildren and 
fourteen great-grandchildren. 

"I think the first settler in North Vancouver was Tom Turner; I know of no one here before him; don't see 
how there could have been; he planted the orchard which stood in front of Pete Larson's hotel on the 
Esplanade west of Lonsdale Avenue. Mr. Hugh Springer, manager of the Moodyville Sawmill, had a great 
liking for Tom. Tom was an Englishman and a great gardener. He lived in a log cabin which can be seen 
in that photograph you have taken in about 1890 of North Vancouver by Bailey Bros., with a flagpole 
beside it. The location is about what is now the southwest corner of Esplanade and Chesterfield Avenue. I 
don't know who Tom was, but he used to go up to Moodyville two or three times a week, and call out, 'any 
vegetables today.' I went up to Mr. Springer one day and told Mr. Springer that Tom was sick" (ill.) "I recall 
it quite well, because Mr. Springer was smoking a cigar, and somehow the ash of the cigar got into the 
eye of his little son standing nearby. Mr. Springer hurried down, but Tom got worse and died." 

D.L. 271 , North Vancouver. 

Memo of conversation with Calvert Simson, third storekeeper, Hastings Sawmill, at City Archives, City 
Hall, 22 September 1939. 

"This statement here [in] Early Vancouver, Vol. 2, by Duncan McDonald of North Vancouver, that Tom 
Turner, he says, 'I think the first settler at North Vancouver was Tom Turner'; that's wrong; and he says, 
'Mr. Springer hurried down, but Tom got worse and died.' I think that's wrong too. 

"Tom Turner was nephew to William Bridges," (who preempted D.L. 271) "and William Bridges sent for 
him to come out from England, and the understanding was that when Mr. Bridges died, Tom Turner was 


to get the property. Bridges did die, but the will could not be found, and finally a man named T.B. Spring, 
he was up at Port Moody and had a scow which he brought down to Vancouver and anchored it to the 
shore about the foot of Columbia Street and lived in it. He is said to have gone down to Seattle, or 
somewhere, and found the will — some say he forged it — anyway, Tom Turner got the property and sold it 
to Captain Power, who, they say, had put up the money to help him prove to the judge that he was 
entitled to it. Captain Power ran the Moodyville hotel. Turner sold the property for a 'song,' and with the 
proceeds went to Lancashire, England, where he had come from and started in the coal business; he had 
a coal yard and carts and horses. Tom Turner was delivering milk to us in 1 884, so that William Bridges 
must have been dead then, I suppose." 

Note: Duncan McDonald got to Burrard Inlet in 1 873, and lived here until he died in North Vancouver, 1 
March 1 933. It is queer that he should have said Tom Turner got worse and died. Perhaps I 
misunderstood him. JSM. I wonder if he meant William Bridges. 

Herring in Burrard Inlet. 

"In those days Vancouver Harbour was full of herring; that was what Spratt's Oilery, just east of the foot of 
Burrard Street, a few steps west of the Marine Building, was started for: to extract the oil. But after 
extracting the oil, they took the refuse and dumped it outside the Narrows, and they say that drove the 
herrings away. The herrings used to be very numerous, thick in the water. We used to get a pole and 
drive a lot of nails in it so that the sharp ends stuck out like spikes, then get into a boat or canoe, go out in 
the harbour, and sweep it through the water. The pole would be, say, twenty feet long, with the nails 
clustered at one end, then you sat or knelt in the bottom of the canoe, and swept it from bow to stern. You 
had to be quick and keep the pole going or the herrings would wriggle off, but you would always get four 
or five herrings each sweep. Anyway, whatever it was, the herrings migrated from English Bay; before 
that they came here to spawn, along by Swywee, the West Vancouver lagoon just west of the Capilano 
River; they were thick in the water there." 

West Vancouver. 

"All I can recall of West Vancouver in the early days was a deserted log hut at the lagoon Swywee; the 
rest was just trees. My wife died in 1 897," (presumably an Indian woman, for his granddaughter Mrs. Gus 
Band is the wife of Chief Gus Band) "and was buried in the North Vancouver Indian Cemetery; there was 
no other cemetery in North Vancouver in those days." 

Among his descendants are granddaughters Rita Lumly, now Mrs. Harris White; Olive Lumly, now Mrs. 
Gus Band; Harriet Lumly, now Mrs. Bennie Cordicittel. Great-grandson Ralph Band and daughter 
Florence Cordicittel. 

Big trees. Duncan McDonald. Tom Turner. North Vancouver. 

Duncan McDonald continued, "The biggest tree I ever saw, and I have [been] following the logging 'game' 
all my life, since 1873, all in North Vancouver, Moodyville and thereabouts, was one time when we went 
for a timber cruise about ten miles up Lynn Creek; we went over a big hill and down the other side, and 
came across a great fir. I guess it is there yet, or the stump. It was nine feet diameter; we measured it 
carefully. Of course, cedars grew bigger at the stump, but then, cedars when big are nearly always hollow 
in the centre." 

He died at North Vancouver, 1 March 1933. 

White Rock. 

Master Gunner J. C. Cornish, first sergeant major of the first military unit in Vancouver, No. 5 British 
Columbia Brigade of Garrison Artillery, and now a resident, retired customs officer, at White Rock, 
November 1932. 

"There is no doubt the large glacial rock on the beach was the origin of the name White Rock; it still 
carries on parts of its surface some of the old lime wash with which it was coated in the early days as a 
beacon for vessels entering the bay," (Semiahmoo) "but I find that it was at the expense of the American 
government, and for the use of vessels entering the harbour of Blaine, Washington. In those days there 


were few vessels carrying our flag in this locality, a few small boats carried on between Bellingham, then 
Whatcom, and Blaine, and to the path or road leading to the mining camps on the Fraser River." 

Clothes lines. Chester S. Rollston, son of J.C. Rollston, first gasoline station 


The inventor of the clothes line commonly used throughout at least North America, and which consists of 
two galvanized iron sheaves through which an endless wire passes, was Chester S. Rollston, a hardware 
clerk in the employ of Messrs. Wood, Vallance and Leggat, who absorbed Thos. Dunn Hardware Co., 
pioneer hardware store, on Cordova Street near Carrall. The idea was suggested to him by the working of 
chain hoists. He sold the patent, so he told me, for $1 ,000 and royalties, but was terribly disappointed 
with the royalties he received, and was bitter in his comments of the returns he received. He was 
afterwards manager, about 1 932, of the very large wholesale hardware firm of McLennan, McFeely and 

This invention must have saved the women of the world billions of steps. Previously all clothes lines, 
either rope or wire, were a single line strung tightly between two supports, and the wet clothes were 
pegged to it, and in the case of numerous wet clothes to be dried, a laborious process of dragging a 
heavy basket load along the ground, or carrying them, followed. As a result of the invention, the line 
slides by, the washer stands still, and pegs the clothes as it passes; a very much less laborious 

Chester's father, Mr. J.C. Rollston, was the first gasoline station attendant in all Canada, perhaps in all 
America, perhaps in all the world. The makeshift station was started by CM. Rolston, J.S. Matthews and 
J.C. Rollston, all employees of the Imperial Oil Co. Limited, and at the foot of Cambie Street, near 
Smythe. It consisted of a corrugated iron shed with roof, about four feet by ten feet dimensions, entirely 
open one side next to the street, a concrete pedestal 12" x 12" tapered and three feet high, a 13 gallon 
kitchen boiler, a steam gauge glass, and ten feet of garden hose without nozzle. A barroom chair and a 
cushion for it completed the outfit, which was connected with the gasoline tanks by iron pipe. (See 


■ ? 

Seventh. Av«>tu» P^c> 

appro*. /eegor/9%o 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_058 


Contra ctor and Miner 

Vancouve r ^Car ib oo, and Yukon. 
Cut the* New Road', now Kingsway, through forest from 
Hew Westminster to Granville, 1884. Cleared off the 
trees from 44C acres of'Weet End' , Vancouver ,1887. 

,p + p G ~tC 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_059 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_060 


All's Not Gold That 


Sir, — J. A. Stephenson thinks there should 
be more wooden money or paper money. 
Paper money is the main cause of present 
world panic. I have been fifty-one years in 
the mining business in Washington, British 
Columbia, Yukon and Alaska. I can see how 
natural our Creator distributed so evenly all 
metals necessary for the human race. No 
farmer could sow grain more ei*enly. There 
is no mountain of either metal. There should 
be no wood or straw currency to replace 
metals. One billion dollars in paper money 
can be made out of one of the spruce trees 
on the Pacific Coast. 

The only industry that is going to last to 
the end of time is the finding of food from 
land and water and the mining of minerals 
from the earth. The fertilizer from minerals 
is best to grow food. The two industries will 
always work hand in hand to furnish labor 
for the human race. If this paper money is 
burned and metals are used as currency, 
there will be work in mines for one-third of 
the idle men in North America, and the 
food, clothing and machinery needed by them 
will give work to the other two-thirds. 

I have a four-year-old clipping from a 
New York paper wherein a wild mining en- 
gineer wrote there would be no more gold to 
mine in 100 years. If he had said a million 
years he would be making a big mistake. 
Our Creator's volcanic factory is making 
metals all the time. 

Mr. Stephenson might as well say that 
diamonds and rubies should be made out of 
wood. His paper money has taken the lustre 
of the once precious gems. The real money 
will make them look like they did in King 
Solomon's time, when there was no paper 
money. We should look to the industries 
that are going to last. «„„-- , » T 

Quesnel, B. C. JOHN McDOUGALL. 

CL-rn.0-n.ft or So before £-< 


ltem# EarlyVan_v2_061 


Letters of John McDougall ("Chinese McDougall"). 

Quesnel, B.C. 

[No date; received 8 August 1932.] 

Major J.S. Matthews, V.D. 

Dear sir: 

I will be pleased to give you all the information I can about what is intresting refaring to 
the early times on the peninsula between New Westminster Coal harbour and the North arm of 
the Fraser River, and two Hastings two and a half mile abart the estern one was built on by two 
highly esteemed miners from Cariboo in the early 70s. Mr. George Black built and owened a hotel 
and Mr. John Fannan built and owened a shoe making shop and an amusement shop he was a 
numter one bird and animal stuffer, and first big game gide and hunter in B.C. his first big mule 
deer from the Okanagan Lake mountain range to the west, the stuffed deer is in the Victoria 
Museum. In 1 885 he sold his collection of birds and animals to the B.C. Government for $1 800.00 
and was given charge of the museum. Mr. Black built a large dance hall for tourist and was a 
good manager of what was I think the first tourist camp in B.C. I borded there in the summer of 
1886, and many familys came through there from New Westminster and Victoria. There was Mr. 
and Mrs. Cambie Mr. and Mrs. Strong Mr. David and Isick Oppenheimer and familys, Samuel 
Brighouse, Carbolt [Corbould] and family from New Westminster, J.W. Steward, [Stewart] (now 
General Steward) and him and I would go out on the new warf and fasten part of a sack to a barl 
hoop with meat on the sack and let it down to the bottom we would get twenty pounds of fine 
crabs in twenty minutes the wimman folk would make a tun pound dish of crab salad and with 
sandwishes crackers and beer we would have a fine midnight lunch at the dance hall mostly 
every night. There was a wagon road partly built from there to New Westminster I came over it 
with a party of ten on the 26 th December 1 878 we were wating in New Westminster to go to 
Victoria, but there was too much ice on the river and we were notified that the boat was going 
around to Burrard Inlet to take us. we left at 9 p.m. with two smal horses and a slaigh the snow 
was tun inches deep, we had axes and lantren. There was a greate deal of brush and vine maple 
bent down with the snow over the pathway, the small indian horses helped as they knew how to 
crall under the snow laden brush and saved us a lot of eax work the women and children were 
covered with horse blankets and often roled over the side of the sleigh with its weight of snow. 
We were wet and cold and highly plesed when we came in sight of Mr. Black's hotel at 3 a.m. 
after a warming and a good hot meal we went to the boat it was tied to pils at the end of a 1 00 
foot warf built of two lengths of two large cedar logs with planks on them. I got down on my hands 
and knees got the children to put their arms around my neck while I climbed the rope lader to the 
boad deck, we arrived in Victoria at 1 1 a.m. the best of friends It was the first road from Burrard 
Inlet and Fraser river. 

John McDougall. 

Now about the wagon road that I built between New Westminster and Granville in 1 884 
the specifications called for the road to be around thirty inches above the ege of the diches and 
thirty feet wide, the diches to be three feet wide and VA feet deep. The extra work that I had to do 
to drain the water from the ditches and many culverts cost $1 800.00. My bid for the contract was 
$1 7,500.00 when i finished Baley Ross overseer for the building and Mr. Gore the surveyor 
general went over the road and Mr. Gore was so pleased with my work that he asked me by letter 
next spring to put in a bid on the 36 mile Marbel canyon and Hat creek road from Mr. Kerbils 
roadhouse at the mouth of Hat creek on the Cariboo road to Captin Martles ranch in Marbel 
canyon. I maid $4600.00 on my Kingsway contract in four months. The next bidder for the 
contract above me tryed to use a political pul to get the contract he was a road builder and he and 
two brothers had a number of men working for them in Premier John Robison's district. He told 
John that that boy McDougall had no experance in road building and could not do the work for the 
amount of his bid Mr. Robson told him it is this way Anges if that boy cant build the road his 
bondesmen can two welthy men are the boys bondsmen one is Hugh Keefer who made $150,000 
on the C.P.R. last year the other Ben Vanvolkenboro [?] with butcher shops strung for six 


hundred miles from Barkerville in the Cariboo to Victoria. So Anges had to allow the boy to do the 
work. Mr. Jo Hunter [A.G. Smith, Land Registrar, Vancouver, says, "Joe Hunter was son-in-law to 
Hon. John Robson. "] government surveyor surveyed the road and had many short turns in it there 
was two military reserves on the rought and he did not like to cross them with a road. Seeing the 
short turns in his survey I wrote to him to Victoria B.C. he told me to straighten the line of the road 
to suit myself so I undertook to straighten about six miles about the center of the road. There was 
a grate lot of second groth up to fifty feet high, as I did not have a transet it was a new sort of a 
job there was a large amount of wind falls three deep in places and very large timber that fell 
when the big fire rushed through there in the late sixties. It happened that there were two burnt 
stubs more than 1 00 feet high and not far from Mr. Hunter's survay line and six miles apart. I 
climbed a second groth spruse tree to the top about fifty feet from there I had a good view of the 
big stub in the north west direction six miles away so I climbed down and got four of my men with 
axes and three long staks, and I went up to the top of the tree again I think got my men to drive 
three stakes in line with the big high stub six miles away the stakes about 100 feet apart, by 
moving the hindmost stake 100 feet and staking it in line with the other two stakes north west I 
managed to get a new streat line through the thick undergroath for the six miles and less than tun 
feet from the high north west burnt stub. I was well pleased with my new survey and felt very 
thankful that Mr. Hunter was so kind as to allow me to survey the road line to suit myself. My new 
line was on better ground for a road bed and was the means of the road been about 1 000 feet 
shorter and I was delighted by cuting out the many short turns that would loock so bad where the 
land was almost level. No doubt but that Mr. Hunter like myself felt that we were building what 
would be always a country road, and at this day July 23 1932 I feel proud of what the boy did in 

John McDougall 

A few lines about my friend Mr. Jo Hunter who made the first survey of the road now 
known as Kingsway. he was a member of parlment for the Cariboo district in 1 886 and 7 and 8 he 
was the engineer that built the Quesnel lake dam in the Cariboo district the lake is 75 miles in 
lenth and fifty miles wide and the lake darned to the height of nine feet, it was about the largest 
body of water darned it was built for plaser mining purposes. Mr. Hunter a large proud man highly 
estemed by his many frainds for his business and honest qualitys. While a member of parliament 
two small oppision members in the space of five years accused him of been on friendly terms with 
a dishonest party they depended that Jo was too proud and big to strick them and there was a 
law agest dueling, but Jo saw self proction above dueling and handed each one of his insulters 
on each occasion a loded revolver and asked them to choose there distance in each case the 
little fallows got on there knees and beged of Jo to allow them to apologize. I think Jo's example 
could be used to advantage every once in a while to help decent politics. 

John McDougall 

I don't know when the Fals creek bridge was built I went over it in 1884 and a wagon road 
that led from it to Mr. Magee's farm on the north arm valley of the Fraser River he had about 
twenty acres in crop he was highly pleased with the groath of everything he planted, the branches 
of his fruit trees were hanging load of fine fruit. There may be partys on the farm who can tell 
when the road and bridge was built. 

Yours truly 

John McDougall 

P.S.: The road did not go beyond Mr. Magee's farm on the north side of the valley. 

When Mr. John Morton came by trail to false creek from New Westminster in 1862 the 
whole peninsula was a groath of the finest fir spruse and cedar in the world up to 300 feet high, 
the shade of it prevented undergroath and it would be easy to blace a trail through it with a 
compass. I do not know where Mr. Morton indian trail would be. the undergrouth and fallen timber 
caused by fires after his time blotted his trail out of existence. Mr. Morton's house and garden 
was on the shore directly south of dead man island it was used for a loging camp after his time it 


was my camping place while slashing down the timber on the 440 acre Brighouse estate in the 
months of April and May 1886. 

I may take a trip to Vancouver this summer and call on you 

I wish you all kinds of success with your new venture. 

Yours truly, 

John McDougall 

John McDougall. Hastings. Kingsway. 

Copy of letter from John McDougall, Quesnel, B.C. 
Dear Mr. Matthews: 

Quesnel, B.C. August 21 1932. 


I received your nice letter of August 9 . Not being a scholar, the last I would expect is 
praise for my writing, so don't be too hard on me if I partly blame you for my notorious historical 

I never heard of Hocking or surveyed lots at Hastings. There was about two and a half 
acres cleared near the shore, south from Mr. Black's hotel; a chinaman with a large family built 
small buildings on the north shore of patch, his daughter was a picture, and classed as the most 
beautiful on the inlet. He built there in 1883, he had a laundry and sun curing establishment, he 
would let a hundred foot net to the bottom at high tide, when the tide went out he would get about 
one hundred pounds of sole flounders cod and crabs. The floting log warf that raised and fell with 
the tides between piles near Mr. Blacks hotel was the first boat landing and jumping off place for 
the rowboats that tock the male and pashingers north across the inlet to Moodyville. 


Now about the jog in Kingsway near Central Park. If I had built the road from the 
Granville end I think the jog would not be so noticable. It was necessary to build from the 
Westminster end in order to get my supplys such as powder, meat, horse and ox food, and other 
supplys. I had to travel many miles to find oxen and horses fit to move the large timber off the 
roadway. I got a good yoke of oxen from Mr. Kipp of Chilliwac, and I had to go to the Nicklo 
[Nicola] valley for the two largest horses to be found, one 1400 lbs for $175.00 from Mr. John 
Claperton, one of the two old highly respected English familys, the other 1 300 lbs for $1 75.00 
from Mr. Alex Gorden, and with blocks and cables I was able to move the big timbers in piles to 
burn on the roadway. 

It was the Royal Engineers that survayed the two reserves that I crossed with my three 
stackes survay in order to save the short turns around the corners of the reserves. They were 
known as military reserves, I think one was intend as a naval reserve, one joined the other, and 
according to my measurement they would be a square block of 320 acres. As long as the 
reserves were not cancled no doubt Mr. Jo Hunter who survayed around the corners of them 
knew that a publick road or pathway would not be allowed over them. And when he wrote to me 
from Victoria to cut out the curves and survay the road to sute myself I think he got information 
that the two reserves were cancled, and no doubt they were since Queen Victoria concented to 
have her crown colony known as New Caledonia became a province of the Dominion of Canada, 
and the people of Vancouver can thank her for her goodness and kindness to sign her name to 
that document, and allowe me the privilege of climbing fifty feet to the top of a tree to survay a 
straight road with the stakes across her reserves that should have been named the Queens Way. 

The far seeing Royal Engineers who survayed the two reserves would not tell you or I 
what they were intended for and if I was on the gorund with them and asked I might expect of 
them to ask if I had ever seen the rock of Gibraltar as I am satisfied they would feel that they were 
standing on another rock like it as a fortification on the two reserves would be identically for the 


same purpose. A war ship showing her teeth in the Gulf of Georgia could be shelled from there, 
and the entrance to the Fraser River, English Bay, and Burrard Inlet could be garded from there. 

Queen Victoria and her Royal Enginers and sappers and miners should not be forgotten, 
she sent them with plenty of money and black powder around Cape Horn to build roads and raise 
her young Caledonia to nationhood, it was them that gouged the first and many miles of the four 
hundred wagon road to the Cariboo along the jaws of the devils canyon on the Fraser River 
where mountain goats could not climb, it was the most dangers and expensive part of the road, 
and it was the building of it that helped to encourage the completing the road to Cariboo, and as 
soon as the road was built more than half of the population of British Columbia were in Cariboo 
and settled along the road, and them people who were mostly foriners did not forget what Queen 
Victoria had to do with the building of the road her birthday was the big day for twelve months in 
Barkerville the big purses of gold dust brought race horses from California and Oregon, it was the 
same when I came from Barkerville in 1882 to Lyton where the C.P.R. was building everybody 
was preparing and practicing for Queen Victoria's birthday sports seven thousand workmen on 
the road layd down there hammers drills transets levels picks and shovels and all settlers for 
many miles along the Cariboo road were there. 

Her Majesty Queen Victoria, the Good. 

In those days there could be a purse rased to build a nice high monument built at beacon 
hill that could be seen from all the boats in and out of Cape Flattery in remembrance of Queen 
Victoria also one at the Lions Gate where the Royal Engineers and Sappers and miners 
commenced to build and settle the foundation for the Pacific Crown Colony and the Canadian 
should enjoy seeing the same accomplished. 

Building the C.P.R. right of way. Brighouse estate. 

I Have not been at Hastings since I borded at Gorage Blacks Hotel in 1886 and I was too 
busy to pay much attention to know much about the old settlers that were not there then I had 
400 men working 140 in a tented camp one third mile west of the hotel I built the two and one half 
miles of the C.P.R. from Hastings to Hastings Sawmill and the clearing of the right of way to Port 
Moody and seventy five on the slashing of the Brighouse estate. After the grading of the two and 
one half miles Mr. Cambie chif engineer asked me to give him a bid on the clearing and grading 
for the station houses and side tracks that are removed now. I lost money on the job I no sooner 
got started then when 100 carpenters comenced to build north and west and too close by to use 
powder on the many large stumps that I intend to blow out so had to burn and grub with axes. I 
did not see any cleared land along Fals creek, the only clearing that I noticed on the Brighouse, 
Hailstone, Morton estate of 660 acres [Note: should be about 540 acres] is the patch that I 
described in my last letter. 

Yours truly 

John McDougall 

A short story that you can cut out if not intristing. 

In december 1 886 Mr. Cambie Chief engineer of the western division of the C.P.R. asked 
me to give him a bid on the piling of luse rock agenst many fills between Hastings and Port 
Moody, the swash of the boats up and down the inlet was undermining them I had to get the 
loose roock from the north arm of the inlet (it was the first rock to come from there). I hired the 
only scows in Coal Harbor four owned by Capt. MacPhaden and his the only tug boat and his 
captain at 22 dollars per day I built a floting house on large seder logs for my twenty men shortly 
after I got started three men came from Victoria one was John Grant who was a member for B.C. 
for some time and mayor for Victoria one was Moose Ireland a highly respected old timer miner in 
Cariboo and Peace River the other was Moses Moose a highly respected jew, a miner and fur 
dealer. It happened in the early seventies that Mr. Ireland crused timber for the Moodyville 
Company on the North arm of the Inlet, and been a prospector he discovered flote quarts on the 
west side of the inlet and had them essayed by Mr. John McKelvee in Victoria [the first Assayer in 
B.C.] they assayed $seven in gold and $8 in silver in the summer of 1886 there was a quarts 


spasm on all over B.C. and that was the cause of the party to come to Vancouver and try and find 
where the flote quarts came from. I was in Vancouver for supplys they were about stuck for a 
chance to get to the north arm of the inlet when some one told them I was in town with my tug 
boat (I was well acquainted with all of them) and John Grant found me and told me what they 
were up too and offered to give me quarter interest in the propission if I would take them to where 
Ireland found the flot quarts, having gambled in mining with my parterner Mr. William Pattullo 100 
feet under ground on Jack of [blank] creek in Cariboo in 1 881 I knew my chances in the new 
ventures was a million or but to have such three fine parterners looked good so I got a bottel of 
three star [Note: brandy] and a box of segars and Captain Butler tock up to my floating boarding 
house in time for lunch. My parterner and his brother Thomas Pattullo were two of a large party 
who left from near Kingston, Ontario for the Cariboo in the early sixtys by the back doar rought 
from the way of the antlantic and over the rocky mountains, they were a fine lot of men and did 
well — Pattullo the liberal leader is a nephew. After lunch Mr. Ireland led us to where he found the 
float quarts in the seventys and it did not take long to find the body of mineraliest bluff of granit 
where the flote quarts came from it was in the face of a high bluff of granit and there was pocked 
of quarts forty feet up in the bluff, and by crawling for some distance on a shalf of rock I was able 
to get to the pocked of quarts on one side was large block of rock about to fall I warned Ireland 
and Grant standing forty feet below to get out of the and as soon as I touch the rock it fel forty 
feet on a ledge and split in two one half that would waigh half a ton get on edge and rolled down 
the hill 100 feet Moses Mose was picking flot quarts there but saw the rock coming he got in the 
rang direction and stumbled agenst a tree and the rock roled on top of him and partly agenst the 
tree many of his ribs were broken I could hear him groan from the ticklish place I was in forty feet 
up on a shelf when I got there John Grant was laing down he ranched his back trying to lift the 
rock of Mose I got a pry and razed it so that Ireland was able to move — John Grant outlifted the 
strongest man in Quesnel — move Mose from under it I got two cans for Grant so he could walk i 
got on my hands and knees and Ireland put Mose on my back his waight 170 it did not trouble me 
a bit to pack him half a mile over rough ground to the boat (I wonder now how I did it) Capt Butler 
stemed the tug to Vancouver as quick as posable and Mr. Mores Mose in the care of docters he 
was in bed for six months. 

We were used to the like of that in the early days 

Another while I am at it it concerns my two good old friends that are dead many years 
Mr. (same) Mose Ireland and Mr. Frank Page. Mr. Page was gold commissioner in the Omineca 
plaser camp in the Peace river for many years in the seventys and early eightys and was in the 
habid of coming to Victoria every third year with his gold dust and boocks. Mr. Ireland was mining 
there then, in the fall of 1877 they prepared to come out Page sent the books and gold dust 
with Pinchback and Giens pack train of 75 horses that maid two trips a season form Williams 
Lake he and Ireland prepared to walk later on but happened to leve too late they were big 
strong men Page was six foot three and Ireland six and each weighed 200 they ment to walk 
from thirty to forty miles per day to Quesnel they did not have snow shows after the first day a 
very unexpected two feet of snow fell for that season of the year and instade of 30 or 40 they 
could make 5 and 6 miles per day and less when they ran out of food and the weather got cold 
down to 40 below it got to loock like starvation and but they put up the bravest fight that I ever 
heard of they were in the parsnip river valley they lost the pack trale on account of the deep 
snow in a few days without food or fire or a chance to slep when it was very cold thay could 
see in day time there way south in a few days they were too weak to walk in the deep snow 
and the way managed to keep alive for two days and keep from going on there last sleep was by 
pounding one at a time with fists and boots when one would drop off to sleep it was necessary 
to hurt to keep the spark of life alive, but they saw there doom when they were too weak to hurt, 
the evening of there life and day was geting very dark and bitter cold, they could see that the 
snow that triped them on there way was going to be there last bed thay shock hands thay felt 
that there blood was about to stop moving in there half frozen flesh Page moved a few feet 
away so that there would be a better chance of finding their bodies while doing so he felt hard 
snow it was a snow shoe track it put new life in him he told Mose that he found a hard snow 
shoe track it kindled the last dying spark he moved to the trail they could see the way 
the last track led and they crawled on there hands and knees they went but a short way when 


mose told Page that he was too cold and stiff to go any further it was intensely cold and Page 
knew that he was not able to go much further and w hen about to lay down and die nere his 
partemer they heard a dog bark and in a few seconds a dog and an Indians was with them, but 
the Indians huts was too far away for the two men to crawl to it there courage and life about to 
end. The Indian got his hand sleigh and he brought them one at a time to his hut the heat in the 
hut brought new life to them they felt as if they were born again this time from the woam of the 
frozen snow bound north the Indians laid them one on each side of the fire place on deer skins 
they were too feeble and sleepy to take food after a long sleep they were able to sip a little 
juice of the pot of deer meat that the Indian coocked for them in two days they were able to eat 
a little deer meet the Indian helped them to doctor their frozen fingers and toes with melted 
deer fat and salt, the Indians supply of food a little flour and smocked salmon and planty deer 
meat when able to coock there food the Indian left on a three day tramp to his summer home 
and got a small supply of fish and flour As soon as their fingers healed they helped the Indian 
to build snow shows at the end of 22 days with the Indian and dog that saved there lives thay 
left with the Indian for an Indian settlement where they got enough food to take them to Quesnel 
when they got to Quesnel they were able to show there friends many marks on there shins arms 
and shoulders from the friendly kicks and blows that they presented to each other to prevent them 
going on their everlasting sleep in forty degrees below zero weather. They went from there to 
Victoria On there way back to the Peace river plaser mining district they added an extra horse 
to Plnchback and Ligns pack train of seventy five horses at Williams Lake that made two trips in 
the summer season to the Ominca plaser camp in the Peace river country, the extra horse was 
loded with three hundred and fifty pounds of extra food and clothes for the Indian and his dog 
also one hundred dollars for his kind treatment and the saving of there lives. 

Both were married in there fifties to smart middle aged women that helped to make there 
batchelor lives more happy Mrs. Ireland was a busnes woman and did well with a general 
store on an island north west of Vancouver Mr. Frank Page retired after living the mines and 
lived in his comfortable home at the first bend east on fort street Victoria where he had one of the 
finest gardins roses was his hobby he was very happy in the winter of 1 885 and 1 886 as 
one of his rose bushes was in full bloom in the open ear every day At my many cals on them 
he would ask if I knew how his kind friend was geting on who saved his life with kicks and blows 
and Ireland would tell me the same when I met him. They were as friendly as twain brothers. 

John McDougall 

The name of Vancouver. Coal Harbour. Sir William Van Horne. 

Excerpt, page 10, Romance of Vancouver, published by Native Sons of B.C., 1926, "How Vancouver 
became a terminal," by B.A. McKelvie. 

"Late in July Mr. Van Horne left the east for the West Coast, arriving in Victoria on August 4 th 1 884, where 
he had a long conference with Premier Smythe," "two days later he came to Burrard Inlet, he declared 
himself to be delighted with the advantages to be offered by Coal Harbour, and stated that he would 
change the name Granville to 'Vancouver.' 

"This announcement met with instant opposition in Victoria; it was argued that confusion would result from 
the similarity of names of the new terminal and the island. To this Mr. Van Horne replied that 'Vancouver' 
was already associated with British Columbia. If the name Granville was retained, people would not know 
where it was, and if told that it was on the shore of Burrard Inlet would still have no idea of its 
whereabouts, but if the world was informed that Vancouver was the end of steel the public would at once 
associate the place with the province of British Columbia." 

Excerpt from the magazine West Shore, published at Portland, Oregon, September 1884 (repeated 
1884), Vol. 10, No. 9, page 304, article entitled "Coal Harbour." 

"It is only once in a lifetime that the public have such a chance as at present, and we would recommend 
those who have money to invest to investigate the merits of Vancouver on Coal Harbour before making 


Inscription on monument commemorating site of Maple Tree (Carrall Street). 

"here stood the old maple tree under whose branches the pioneers met in 1885 
and chose the name vancouver for this city" 

(On 9 September 1 932, Major Matthews drew the attention of the Vancouver Pioneers Association — who 
erected the monument about 1925 — to the discrepancy between 1884 and 1885, and asked for an 
explanation. No answer was received to the letter.) 

(Correction: the name "Vancouver" was selected in 1884 by William C. Van Home, Canadian Pacific 
Railway, and appeared in the press of Portland Oregon in August 1884.) 

See also Early Vancouver, Vol. 3. 












ltem# EarlyVan_v2_062 


L.A.HAMILTON in 1932 

who designed Vancouver 
street system in 1885 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_063 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_064 


1 April 1932 - Survey of Vancouver. L.A. Hamilton. Hamilton Street. 

"L.A. Hamilton, Alderman Hamilton, C.P.R. surveyor, who laid out the site of the city of Vancouver, told 
me that he started the survey from the corner of Hastings and Hamilton Street, using a nail driven in a 
wooden post as a starting point." 

Remark by the late W.F. Findlay, pioneer, sportsman, and early newspaper reporter, killed in accident, 
April 1932. 

Lauchlan Alexander Hamilton. 

Alderman L.A. Hamilton, who laid out a large part of the City of Vancouver in 1885, was the son of 
William Basil Hamilton, first mayor of the town of Collingwood, Ontario, and postmaster there for thirty 
years or over, and the grandson of James Matthew Hamilton of Province of Ulster, a captain in the 5* 
Foot Regiment, served with his regiment in various places in Europe and Canada, and ultimately on 
retiring, received a large block of land in the county of Simcoe, Ontario. 

Alderman Hamilton was born at Penetanguishene, 20 September 1852, was a graduate of the School of 
Military Instruction, 1870, became a civil engineer and land surveyor. 

He selected twenty-five million acres of land in the Canadian Northwest, this being part of the Canadian 
Pacific Railway's subsidy from the government of Canada. Also three million acres in British Columbia, 
part of a subsidy for branch line railways. He selected and surveyed the lands for numberless towns on 
the Canadian Pacific Railway, the principal ones being Regina, Moosejaw, Swift Current, Calgary and 

He was one of the staff in defining the boundary on the 49 th parallel between the Lake of the Woods and 
Rocky Mountains, 1872, 1873, 1874. Was General Land Commissioner, Canadian Pacific Railway. 
Surveyed the city of Vancouver. Senior Alderman of the city for two years. 

During the Great War was chairman of the Red Cross Society, Chairman of the Patriotic Society, and 
Judge under the Conscription Act, all in the County of Peel, Ontario. 

Owner of a large fruit farm and adjoining golf links at Lome Park, Ontario. Owner of farm and golf links 
comprising 640 acres in the city of Kissimmee, Florida. 

On September 1879, he married at Toronto, Isobel Leask, and had a daughter, Isobel Ogilvie Hamilton, 
born Ottawa, 3 October 1880. [NOTE ADDED LATER: Wrong. I have seen her birth certificate. 1881 .] 
And married, secondly, to Constance Bodington, daughter of Dr. George Bodington, M.D. at St. James' 
Church, Vancouver, 10 April 1888. His sister, Mrs. John Leask, resides (1932) in Collingwood, Ontario. 

Authority: genealogy form, dated 3 February 1932 in Mr. Hamilton's own handwriting. 


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L.A. Hamilton. Survey of City of Vancouver, 1885. 

Copy of letter 

Oak Tree House 
Kissimmee, Florida 
5 May 1932 

My Dear Major: 

The newspaper cutting which you sent me is correct as to the naming of Seymour Street. The 
street name was taken from the Admiralty chart which showed Seymour Inlet called after 
Governor Seymour and not after Admiral Sir Michael Culme Seymour. 

Yours truly, 

L.A. Hamilton. 

The corner post from which the survey of the City of Vancouver started was placed with a certain 
amount of ceremony at the corner of Hastings and Hamilton Street. The only ones with me that I 
can remember were members of my party viz. Commodore Charlie Johnson, John Leask, the first 
city auditor, Jack Stewart, now Major General Stewart, Louis, chief axeman, [blank], the son of an 
English canon whose name I cannot call to mind, and myself. I could only give the date by 
referring to my field notes, which I think are in Vancouver. [See Mrs. D.R. Reid.] 

Capilano Water Works. 

"I came to Vancouver for the survey of the Capilano Waterworks early spring, 1886." Geo. H. Keefer, 
Taghun, B.C. 

"I cannot recall the exact date of arrival at Granville, but I well remember the party of surveyors who left 
Victoria one evening on the old steamer Maud which took all night to plow her way to the Hastings Mill 
wharf. The party consisted of Geo. A. Keefer, chief, H.B. Smith, assistant engineer, Fred Bodwell, Fred 
Little, chairman, and myself, picket man. We took up quarters at the Sunnyside Hotel with the late Harry 
Hemlow as proprietor. Tom Jackman as bartender, and good old Joe Fortes as hotel runner, shoeshine, 
and man of all trades. In those days when it became known that we were surveying for waterworks to be 
brought across the inlet, we were thought to be a little queer, by some of the old timers of Gastown. They 
could not see how we could bring water across that foaming tide, etc. After the survey was completed, we 
returned to Victoria on the old Princess Louise." 

Canadian Pacific Railway construction. 

"Kingsway in those days was a narrow winding dark road through tall timbers, full of muddy pitch holes. 
The old plugs could hardly make Mount Pleasant hill, and we were on the lookout for a hold up. My real 
experience in Vancouver came later when in March 1886 I commenced clearing the right of way of the 
C.P.R. from Port Moody to English Bay, when I encountered Mr. Sam Greer at his property line in 
Kitsilano. I had eighty-five Stikine Indians and about fifty white men on the right of way and completed the 
job on June 12 th , moved a big scow with my camp outfit down to the Sunnyside wharf or float and tied up. 
The 15 th was pay day on the railway, so I went to Hugh Keefer's office who was the head contractor, drew 
some money, and gave each man five dollars in advance. These men next day when the fire took place 
ran down to my scow, turned it loose, and were blown down to Hastings Mill, saving all my outfit and 

"The day after the fire, the idea struck me to put up my tents and feed the people, so I got my men 
together and put up two long tents, with floor, tables and benches, opening up as the Railroad Dining 
Rooms. I sold first class meals to all comers at 250, and took in $75.00 at a meal. Many old timers will 
remember the big banner on canvas, 'R.R. Dining Rooms.' Well, business howled for about six weeks, by 
which time new buildings began to open up and the R.R. Dining Rooms went on the bum." 


C.P.R. Hotel. City Hall and Police. 

"McPherson put up a big barn of a place opposite Pat Cary's on Hastings Street. I remember his sign, 
'RAISED FROM THE ASHES IN THREE DAYS.' The day after the fire, I saw a burned out hotel keeper 
selling whiskey from a bottle on his hip pocket and a glass in his hand, his counter being a sack of 
potatoes. The night of the fire, June 1 3 th , I slept on the ground near Hugh Keefer's safe which lay upside 
down in the ruins, and which was supposed to hold the pay for the railroad gangs ready for the 1 5 th 
payday. I well remember the old Maple Tree and the first City Council meeting after the fire. There was a 
tent just behind that famous picture which was the city lock-up and when that picture was taken there 
were a few sore heads with leg irons on them laying in that tent. Pat Gannon kept butcher shop next door 
to the R.R. Dining Rooms; he was my butcher and banker and a fine old fellow. The only building 
escaping the fire was the Costello hotel, half built. The fire killed about 14 people as far as I can 
remember. There was a Masonic funeral that day and most of the prominent people had driven to New 
Westminster as we had no graveyard in Vancouver at that time. McCormack, a sub-contractor on the 
railway, had been killed blasting stumps, and they buried him in New Westminster. Tom Cyrs kept the 
Granville Hotel. Poor Tom was under the impression that he was some relation to the old prize fighter 
who fought Heenan, hence his many street fights of which old timers well remember. He made one big 
mistake one day when he undertook to lick Alf Banham the butcher, for Alf just backed him across the 
street, landing a good openhanded slap on Tom's ears with every slip. Many old timers will also 
remember Fred Burrows' fighting bulldog. Fred was supposed to keep a wholesale liquor house, but most 
of the time was spent keeping out of jail over his dog; his dog was something like Tom Cyrs, thought he 
could lick anything on earth. I look back with pleasure on those old days, for I seem to see only the comic 

Geo. H. Keefer, Taghun, 22 March 1932. 

Clearing away the forest off Vancouver. The Great Fire. H.P. McCraney. 

Memorandum of conversation with Mr. H.P. McCraney whilst asking him to review certain records made, 
3 May 1932. 

"Those clearing the slashing and stumps 'up on the Hill,' above Cambie Street just before the Fire, did so 
by hand labour; there was not a logging engine in the country at that time. Hector Stewart's father, that is, 
Chief of Police Stewart, brought in the first donkey engine; no gin pole, no 'donkey' those days, just 
horses and oxen. There were six or eight contractors up on 'the Hill'; all had fires burning and there was, 
as George Cary says, a lot of smoke. 

"The wind did not come up from the southwest as Mr. Gallagher says; it came from the west and blew the 
fire right through the town; it must have done so; the fire did not go south of Harris Street." (See Mrs. Ruth 
Morton, Rev. CM. Tate, Theo. Bryant.) 

"At the time of the fire, Cordova Street was corduroy road up towards Westminster Avenue; there was a 
woman burned up there, about Gore Avenue, I saw her body. Then there was an old man who jumped 
down his well and suffocated. My lumber yard was down on the edge of False Creek, where the B.C. 
Electric car barns are now; it escaped. 

"At the time of the fire, I had a camp up where the General Post Office is at the corner of Hastings and 
Granville streets. We had a contract to cut the road through from Water Street along what is now Cordova 
Street to where they proposed to build the C.P.R. station, and down the slope to the site; the same slope 
is there yet. 

"A line of trees was straight down Burrard Street at the time of the fire. I know, for I had the contract for 
clearing the slashing and stumps from Burrard Street to the C.P.R. tracks and from Georgia Street to 
Dunsmuir Street. I took the contract to clear it the day after the fire. I tendered for the slashing job the fall 
before, but did not get the job then. The slashing was right up to Burrard Street, all along up to the C.P.R. 
grant boundary; no fire had been in it. West of 'the Hill,' that is, west of the clearing operations, and east 
of Burrard Street right back south, was a dense mass of fallen trees. 


"You see, I had two contracts; the first to put in a road down the cliff to the C.P.R. Depot, and the second 
to clear the land between Robson and Georgia" (probably means Dunsmuir and Georgia) "and Burrard 
Street and the C.P.R. right of way on False Creek; consequently, I know what there was rather well. Andy 
Forbes, father of Mr. Forbes of the Forbes Realty Company, had another contract for something, and saw 
the big tree on Georgia Street fall." 

Cocos Island. 

"The Eliza Edwards, the vessel Captain Nye speaks of, went to Cocos Island searching for treasure in 
June 1892. Captain Duncan McKenzie, Captain Simon F. McKenzie, both dead, and Captain William 
McKenzie, living, all went on her." 


The Great Fire, 13 June 1886. 

Written especially for this record by Mr. Allan K. Stewart of Hope, B.C., 3 May 1932. 

I was employed as clerk and draughtsman by Mr. T.C. Sorby, architect for the Canadian Pacific 
Railway at Vancouver; our office at the time being in the A.G. Ferguson Block, about the only 
office of any pretension in Vancouver at that time and situated at the corner of Carrall and Powell 
Street diagonally opposite the old Sunnyside Hotel. It being a Sunday the office was closed and I 
was resting and writing letters in my boarding house at the time the fire started. The boarding 
house was kept by a Mrs. Alcock and family and was situated on Hastings Street East on the 
north side quite near Carrall Street; only about two blocks away from the office and almost 
directly opposite where the Holden Building (City Hall) is now situated. I noticed much smoke and 
somebody outside was yelling, "Fire." I got out with the others and my first thought was to get to 
the office and try and save drawing instruments, etc., but I never got there; the heat, flame and 
smoke made it impossible to get there. I dashed back along Carrall Street to the boarding house; 
somebody gave me a bucket and a number of us tried to get water from the part of False Creek 
(now of course filled in and reclaimed) which came right up to Hastings Street East across 
Pender Street East. But the flames, smoke and heat drove us out. I remember one of the Alcock 
girls came out of the boarding house with my derby hat on, the only thing of my possessions 
saved. She had grabbed it from the hall for protection, I suppose, as she rushed out. I noticed 
some people throwing things down a well in the hope of saving them. 

After fighting fire in different places with others, among them the late Harry Hemlow and the late 
Captain C. Gardner Johnson, eventually near the Carrall Street wharf I came across the late H.O. 
Bell-Irving, who had a sailboat. His house near the Hastings Mill had escaped the fire. He took 
me in his sailboat to Hastings, giving me a chance for a swim in Burrard Inlet to get some of the 
dirt off. My money had been burned in my trunk at the boarding house, but I had $1 .10 in silver in 
my pocket. Somebody gave me a lunch at Hastings and I got a stage to New Westminster, 
camped out that night and next morning sent through the bank there for $23 I had in a bank in 
Victoria. I forget how I arranged this and how I was identified, and I think I stayed with Dr. Trew, 
but I remember well going to a ready made clothing store and buying a grey tweed suit, blue 
necktie, and some underclothes. The coat and waistcoat fitted me well, but the suit had evidently 
been made for a short man, and unfortunately my long legs were far too long for the trousers, and 
when I walked over the old Westminster Road (now Kingsway) back to Vancouver I shall always 
remember the horse laughs some of my friends greeted me with about three inches of my socks 
which were showing permanently. 

I worked as a reporter for the late William Brown who was publishing a small newspaper until Mr. 
Sorby, the architect, returned from San Francisco with new drawing instruments, etc., and we 
started again at the plans of the Hotel Vancouver, the original brick building. The plans and 
tracing had been all ready to turn over to Mr. L.A. Hamilton of the C.P.R. Land Department, but 
were destroyed in the fire. I did not notice where the fire started, but I attributed it to the piles of 
brush in the large area from the C.P.R. Depot to Robson Street. Beyond Robson Street 
westwards to English Bay was pretty much all bush still, but I feel sure that a fire also started from 
the clearing at False Creek (Roundhouse). My account of the Fire was sent by my parents to the 
Morning Post, and I was glad to hear from Mayor McLean later that he had received $500 in 
response to it for relief purposes. 

Allan K. Stewart. 


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The Great Vancouver Fire. 

In Memoriam — William F. Findlay, pioneer, journalist, sportsman, whose unfinished narrative of the Great 
Fire is here completed by a lifelong friend, Major J. S. Matthews. 

"Fire! Fire!" Those terrorizing shouts of men; ineffaceable even after forty-six years from pioneer 
memories. No time to think, only to run; to grasp, perhaps, some frightened child, and fly, suffocating, 
before the raging, racing blast. Vancouver did not burn; it was consumed by flame; the buildings melted. 
Pioneers measure the years by "The Fire"; all that has happened in Vancouver has occurred "before" or 

It was Sunday, the thirteenth. A June dawn broke calm and beautiful on what promised the silent 
restfulness of God's holy day, and with the rise of the sun, cool zephyrs from English Bay rustled through 
the forest beyond Burrard Street — the West End. Midday saw the holocaust; one great flame of fire 
impelled by fierce wind descended from the heavens and licked all, clean to the soil, into its awful maw. 
Black night saw the lights of dying embers twinkling in the darkness of a blacker desolation. Another 
dawn; and — men spoke softly as they moved around a long rude table upon which lay parcels of charred 
human flesh. 

Old Granville, Little Vancouver. 

The Royal Engineers, "Navvy Jack," a few of the earlier pioneers cleared the forest off old Granville; a 
ragged square boxed in by tall forest walls, and bounded by what is now Cambie, Hastings and Carrall 
streets — a fourth side was the shore. In the "hollow" nestled our baby city, just rechristened "Vancouver," 
nine weeks old, and growing like mad; mostly buildings of bright lumber, but including a shabbier few, a 
hotel, a saloon, a general store, a tiny church, and a cabin jail, about nine in all, erected in the 70s, and 
ranged crescent shaped along the curve of the muddy beach; once the older "Gastown." The atmosphere 
of little Vancouver was one of excitement, hope, energy, eagerness; the wonderful railway was coming, 
over the high mountains, from Canada; there was going to be a "big town." 

Off to the west, "up on the hill" (above Victory Square) and as far as the forest's edge (Burrard Street) 
was the new clearing, the "C.P.R. Townsite," a dark jungle three months back, but now a disheveled litter 
of stumps, stones, debris and clearing fires. Closer in (Hastings Street) pyramids of blown roots piled high 
by honest sweat — no donkey engines in those days — stood ready for burning, and some were already 
alight. In the distance, flanking Granville Street on both sides as far as Davie Street, a wild disarray of 
fallen trees, cut down by the "bowling pin" method, the larger sweeping down the smaller, ten acres at a 
time, in one great grand crash, lay tumbled one on another in a vast impenetrable mat many feet thick, 
and dry as tinder after days in the hot summer sun; an ideal setting for a gigantic fire. 

To the eastwards, a fringe of semi-clearing stretched a short distance from Gastown to Hastings Mill; all 
else was wilderness; Kitsilano, Fairview, Mount Pleasant, Hastings, all lay beneath a green carpet of 
primeval forest. 


Vancouver had no streets; just half a dozen planked roads and some dirt trails. Water Street was largely 
trestle bridge over a cove of the sea; Cordova Street was corduroy; the new street, Hastings, not long 
since a sinuous trail impassable in parts for wagons, was now four blocks long (Main to Cambie). The 
"Old Road" along the shore (Hastings Road, now Alexander Street) west from the Maple Tree to Hastings 
Mill, Hastings Townsite, and on to the Royal City; the "New Road," a glorified bridle track, now Kingsway, 
trailed off from Carrall Street, crossed Columbia Street diagonally, and squirmed through the stumps to a 
narrow wooden bridge, our only bridge, crossing False Creek (Main Street). 

That the Great Fire started in the C.P.R. clearing is well known; it matters little where, and then, too, 
opinion is so very diverse. Listen, whilst those who saw, tell the story. 

"Cordova Street was not really stumped before the fire," relates a venerable pioneer of '84, "between 
Abbott and Cambie Street a few shacks and a pigsty hid in the bushes. They had been blowing stumps 
up on the 'C.P.R. hill.' At quitting time the powdermen of the blasting gang applied their torches to the 
fuses; quite a sight followed; roots skyrocketing, and noise! Just like a bombardment; we used to stand on 
Water Street and watch. 


"The morning of the fire you could see nothing for smoke. The whole of the hill above Cambie Street had 
been on fire for weeks before that; I spent the Sunday morning fighting the fire above the corner of 
Cambie and Cordova streets; it was gaining on us, so I went down to the saloons and suggested that the 
men had better come out and help. 

"The wind increased. Chunks of flaming wood as big as my leg were flying clear over us. We did our best, 
but at last it crossed Cordova Street, where the Sterling Hotel is now; there was no time to lose. I 
gathered up a mother and two children from a shack in the lane behind, and started east, but all Water 
Street was ablaze, so we scurried west, down to the old float, the Moodyville landing" (below Spencers 
Limited) "and waded out in the water. The tide drifted a raft near me; I grabbed it. The frantic mother said 
something about throwing her child in the sea, that she would rather see it drown than burn; the flames 
were coming right over us. Then a brave little tug came right in and towed us out; gallant men they were. 
The hulk Robert Ker finally sheltered us." 


But some say this is not the whole story; that all invisible behind its own screen of smoke, a greater fire, a 
mile away, was being driven under the combined forced draft of windstorm and terrific upward suction of 
air common to bush fires, into a fury, and was dropping flaming brands into the tinderous debris "up on 
the hill"; the fiery attack on the hapless town was coming from front and flank. 

"The fire broke away down near Drake Street before ten o'clock; I was there and saw it," asserts a 
pioneer eye-witness. "We were building the road bed for the railway from Carrall Street to the proposed 
roundhouse site, and the ground above the site was being cleared. I saw the fire was getting dangerous, 
and immediately put some of our men — they volunteered — to help fight the fire, cautioning them that, if it 
got away from where it was semi-cleared, they were not to attempt to fight it, or they would lose their 

Fire sweeps down (now) Granville Street. 

"Shortly after noon the fire got out of control; it gained such momentum as to completely obscure the sky; 
the air was just one mass of fiery flame driven before a southwest gale. We never heard again of our 
three gallant volunteers; sterling men of splendid character; they must have perished; their bodies were 
never found. The remainder of our men were forced out of our camp on the shore just west of the present 
Cambie Street bridge, and driven into False Creek, where some Indians in canoes rescued them. 

"I hurried down to our little office where the North Vancouver ferry now stands, and had been there but a 
few moments when a rabble of people rushed by. I walked a few yards up to 'Gassy Jack's,' but before I 
got there the 'Sunnyside' across the street was a mass of flame, and before I could get back to the office I 
had just left that too was afire; I saved nothing. 

"I waded out into the water between Carrall and Columbia streets. The heat was so intense we gasped for 
breath. Close to the surface of the sea was a cooler strata of air; we held our mouths close to the surface, 
and breathed that; it saved us." 

Fire jumps "Maple Tree Square." 

"One huge flame, a hundred feet long, burst from the Deighton Hotel, leaped 'Maple Tree Square,' and 
swallowed up the buildings where now stands the Europe Hotel; the fire went down the old 'Hastings 
Road'" (Alexander Street) "faster than a man could run. Two iron tires and some ashes was all that was 
left of man, horse and cart which perished in the middle of Carrall Street." 

"New Westminster Forever." 

"The greatheartedness of the people of New Westminster is an imperishable recollection. Young men on 
horseback raced up and down the streets of the Royal City shouting that Vancouver had been destroyed, 
and its people without food and covering. Housewives hurriedly put up food; the Hyack Fire Brigade 
collected it. Towards sundown came a galloper through a slit in the forest, the 'New Road' — the 'Old 
Road' was blocked by fire — saying that help was following. His Worship Mayor MacLean sent 
messengers to where the people were huddled together for the night that they were to assemble at the 
south end of the False Creek bridge." (Near C.N.R. Depot.) 



"Then followed what was probably the sorriest procession Vancouver ever saw. No tears, no whimpering, 
only the stern visages of hungry men, women and children who had lost all, garbed in such as they wore 
when they first ran, with faces black with sweat and charcoal, straggling in groups through the darkness 
of that rough old bush trail along the shore. 

"At midnight two wagon loads of eatables arrived; fried eggs between slices of bread, or hard boiled in a 
soda can for protection. By the feeble light of lantern or candle, the weaker were served first; the men got 
what was left; at dawn another wagon arrived." 

God bless the sailors. 

"Many persons were burned; of bandages there were none. A single telephone ran from New 
Westminster to Onderdonk's camp at Port Moody, and by it went the news. Four sailors from some ship, 
with splendid acumen, immediately set out in a rowboat with medical supplies, and reached the bivouac 
after midnight, hungry and exhausted after their long pull. All eatables had been consumed, but amongst 
the debris of empty boxes a missed parcel was found. Between the sandwiches was a little note in a 
woman's writing, saying that it was 'very little, but all I have.' The sailorman turned to the east, and with 
hand raised in supplication, implored the Almighty to bless the people of New Westminster, and never 
suffer upon them such tribulation as surrounded him; a sort of thing you don't expect from a rough 
sailorman, and in the middle of the night. 

"A few boards made a rude table in a shed at the other end of the bridge, and into this improvised 
morgue, feebly lit by candlelight, the procession of distracted in search of their loved ones, the bearers 
with their dead, sorrowfully came and went. At sunrise, twenty-one parcels of charred fragments — not 
bodies — each with a pinned note telling where it was picked up, lay on that table." 

Number who perished never known. 

"The fire occurred at a time when families were scattered. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon; the 
midday meal was over, the children at Sunday school, youth abroad seeking pleasure, older folks, many 
of them new arrivals exploring their future home. Then, with relentless swiftness, and the fury of a blast 
furnace, a great tongue of flame swept down on a people directly in its path; each person flew for his own 
life. One building escaped, the Regina Hotel." (Southwest corner of Water and Cordova streets.) 

"How many perished will never be known. Two weeks later, a building operations disclosed, beneath a 
part burned mattress, the remains of one poor fellow who had sought its protection; his grave is on 
Hastings Street, near the City Hall. Three bodies, evidently strangers, father, mother and child, were 
recovered, their clothing unharmed, from a shallow well of water near the present Police Station; they had 
suffocated. A skeleton found two decades later was identified, by a watch, as of the fire. It was the 
burning gum and pitch, with its bitter black smoke as suffocating as burning oil, which made the fire so 
terrible; death by suffocation was the awful fate of some." 

"I was a girl then," recalls a lady, "the fire was coming at a terrific rate; I raced to my skiff, and hurried 
home, but had scarce got as far as Deadman's Island when all was gone. It was a grand but awful sight." 

The embers of our first city were still smouldering when the present one arose. Sunday saw ruin; Monday 
the yellow scantlings stood a harmonizing colour in a black desert; "Raised from the Ashes in Three 
Days" read the sign on the old "C.P.R. Hotel" (afterwards Northern) on Hastings Street. 

Historic Gastown vanished; nothing remained save its soul; save the spirit of resolute men and 
courageous women. How was it rebuilt? By faith, and the character of its people. Out of the dust of "the 
village at the entrance" (to Burrard Inlet) — Col. Moody so alludes to it in 1863 — rose our world port; a 
metropolis of beauty and of culture, of gallant men and graceful women, of green lawns and monumental 
edifices, the beautiful well governed home of an enlightened and humane people. 

What good purpose; it must have had some great purpose; the Great Fire served, what grave lesson it 
taught — perhaps steeled by ordeal to speed us on to better things — none may know save He who 
knoweth all; even when a sparrow fall. 


June n*i 



The Last 400 

TTNGRAVED on the time -scarred tablet of Vancouver's history are 
•" hundreds of names on which the present-day metropolis Has 
been built—names whose every syllable conjures up a deed of 
bravery, fortitude, or— humor.. 

Now these names join that other popular roll of honor con- 
ducted by The Province, and are blazoned forth for all B.C. to see 
in The Sunday Province Magazine Section. The last four hundred— 
those who came "before THE fire," Those who were here when a 
city was swept out of existence beneath their very eyes — those who 
labored long and hard to rebuild It on the smoking ashes of itself. 

Many of these pioneers tell their own story—stories filled with 
everything that goes to make up the drama and pathos and 
laughter of life. Read about them in this week's Sunday Province 
Magazine Section— is your name, or the name of a relative, in the 
roll of honor? 

And we still have pioneers today— pioneers of the airways. 
Tom Corless Is one of these, and George Cross tells of his breath- 
taking adventures with a rapid-fire" of syllables and sentence re- 
cording modern history. 

Then there is romance of the woods !n the tale of Gray Owl, 
friend of every animal — romance of politics and war In the record 
of Carla Jenssen, spy extraordinary — romance of the sea in Boyd 
Cable's story, of sailing ships — romance of. people on the page of 
excursions Into the world of men and women— romance of reading 
all the way through this Issue of the Sunday Magazine; 


"Every Line Interesting" 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_074 


Tales of Old Vancouver. 

By Major J. S. Matthews. 

1 . The Scroll of Founders — the Last Four Hundred. 

2. The Birthplace of our City. A dockless waterfront. 

3. A forest giant near Hotel Vancouver. 

Can it be true, or is it but a dream; this story of our pioneers? Is it that men — and women — still walk who 
saw the shadeless forest where blinks the red and green of traffic signals; who knew the silent solitude 
where shines the blaze of neon signs? 

Men who matched our mountains. 

Who were these men; these men of simple tastes, simple clothes, who feared God, honoured the King, 
and had empires in their brains? They came silently, sans music, sans heralds, sometimes in a rowboat; 
men of peace, reason, justice; no sword was drawn, no blood is on our name. With cool, quiet courage 
they — and their wives — hacked out a clearing for a garden on the shore. May we, and our work, we who 
have come after to the completion of their great dreams, have found favour in their sight. 

The creation of our city, carved out of the depths of dark primeval forest, was an achievement unequalled 
in the annals of the human race. There is no tale in the great chronicle of human endeavour which 
provides a more romantic, inspiring story; its vast significance is not fully recognized; we are too close to 
the event. 


For aeons our land had lain in motionless repose, a silent thing, an empty space, hidden beneath an 
interminable green forest spreading on and beyond, and through which, at wide intervals, the white tips of 
snowcapped ranges broke like the foaming crests of waves breaking in green seas; the shores concealed 
a thousand coves, a thousand fiery paradises, framed in green; the air was fragrant in its purity. Then into 
the "Great Silence" came "The Builders," a strange race with white faces, and soon there came the 

The railway made Canada whole; linked up the loose ends of an empire, changed the gyrations of world 
trade. The recurrence of consequences so momentous to the human race, born or unborn, is unlikely. 
The great epoch of colonization, commencing with Columbus and his few, has ended with the settlement 
of the last great wilderness; the world's most youthful city may be its last. 

Such is the epitome of a grand story which will yet enchant the coming generations. 

Historical prelude. 

Captain Vancouver's Journal: "About noon," (1 3 June 1 792) "we were met by about fifty Indians in 
canoes," ... "presented us with fish, cooked and undressed," ... "examined the colour of our skins with 
great curiosity." 

Col. Moody, Royal Engineers, 25 January 1863: "Memo for Capt. Parsons, R.E. I wish Corporal Turner 
and party to proceed to Burrard Inlet to revise posts for town near entrance," ... "survey lands between 
such point and the village which has been laid out en bloc." 

English Bay's narrow escape. 

Sir William Van Home, vice president, C.P.R., 14 March 1885: "Owing to the extreme force of the tide in 
the First Narrows, the entrance to Burrard Inlet for large steamships will be almost impracticable, and 
from investigations made it seems that English Bay must be utilized as the main harbour" ... "the 
construction of docks, etc., will involve extensive tracts of level ground for terminal sidings and yards, and 
the only ground suitable is that on the naval reserve." (Jericho golf course.) 


Our first mayor's prophecy. 

His Worship Mayor M.A. MacLean (own handwriting, 1886): "One hardly dares conjecture what marvels 
fifty years may work in the wilderness. Half a century is but a little while; even a quarter of a century has 
wrought amazing results." 

MEMORIES OF "Gastown." (Year indicates year of arrival in "Gastown.") 

Gather nearer, close around the circle. Harken as each pioneer family tells the tale of days of long ago. 

Mrs. Ruth Morton, 1884 widow, John Morton, Vancouver's first resident (1862): "Mr. Morton was anxious 
to show me the white sand on a beach" (English Bay) "but the only rowboat was leaky. While I was 
waiting on the beach at the foot of Carrall Street I watched a sow digging clams, and a crow hopping 
along near her, making a meal on the stray bits." 

Joseph Morton, John Morton's only son: "Father and I were walking near where now stands the Marine 
Building when he said to me, 'Do you see that knoll; that's where we built our cabin.'" 

Alexander McLean, 1 858: "The high water flooded our Pitt River land, so we boarded the sloop again, 
and went in search of dry land on which to farm; we cruised all around where Vancouver now is, and up 
as far as Port Moody." 

H.S. Rowlings, 1868: "The trail from 'Gastown'" (Carrall Street) "to Hastings would accommodate 
pedestrians only. I hauled logs with oxen down Gore Avenue, also out of the Park at Broughton Point, 
had a logging camp at Greer's Beach, and another on Granville Street at False Creek." 

Rev. CM. Tate, 1872: "The Indian church at the foot of Abbott Street was on a lot washed by the waters 
of Burrard Inlet; hence it was very convenient for the Indians, and also for the preacher's boat, as the only 
means of getting about." 

John Strang, 1873: "There were seven white families in Gastown and six in Moodyville. Jerry Rogers had 
three logging camps; one on Cordova Street, one at Greer's Beach," (Kitsilano) "and headquarters at 

Hugh E. Campbell, 1886: "'Navvy Jack,' Bill Cordiner, and the Sullivans helped to clear the forest back of 
Water Street off old Granville." 

Otway Wilkie, 1883: "We" (party surveying line for railway from Port Moody) "reached 'Gastown' on 
Christmas Day 1884 — in a snowstorm." 

C.E. Pittendrigh, 1876: "I shot deer and grouse where the city of Vancouver now stands." 

Mrs. J. Cronin, 1883: "I came by Hastings Road; a mere horse trail through the woods." 

George Cary, 1884: "Many a night, as I lay in my bed in my front room in Tom Cyrs' Granville Hotel on 
Water Street, I have heard the deer's hoofs go tap, tap, tap on the board sidewalk beneath. The deer up 
in the C.P.R. Townsite" (Granville and Hastings streets) "got used to the men slashing, and became fairly 

D. Sutherland, 1882: "There was a mud road where Water Street is; a rough trail ran to the" (False) 
"Creek about Carrall Street. Cordova Street and Hastings Street were heavily timbered." 

Capt. F.R. Glover: "A walk from Water Street to Pender Street at high tide usually meant wet feet; at 
extreme high tide the waters of the inlet and the creek almost flowed into one another." 

W.H. Gallagher, 1886: "Carrall and Water streets had the stores; Cordova was residential." 

L.A. Hamilton, 1885 (who laid out our streets): "I cannot say that I am pleased with the original planning of 
Vancouver; the work was beset with many difficulties; the dense forest, the inlet on the north, the creek 
on the south, a registered plan on the east, another on the west, and old Granville in the centre. Then I 
had to make the principal streets lead northerly and southerly to a large block of land south of False 
Creek. I planned all the streets leading westerly" (from Burrard Street) "so that they would run without a 
jog, but one owner determined to fight in the courts to prevent any change in the registered plan, and I 
was able to give continuous line on alternate streets only. 


"The corner post, with nail in centre of top, from which the survey of Vancouver commenced, was planted 
with a certain amount of ceremony at the corner of Hastings and Hamilton streets. Those whom I recall 
with me were Commodore C. Gardner Johnson, John Leask, first city auditor, Jack Stewart, now Major- 
General Stewart, and Louis ... chief axeman." 

Richard Trodden, 1884: "I helped to lay the first plank sidewalk on Hastings Street." 

The Great Fire, 13 June 1886. 

Edward Cook, 1886: "The force and heat of the flame was terrific; those who did not dash off in the first 
five minutes were burned to a crisp." 

J.A. Mateer, 1 885: "We had no water supply other than wells." "The famous Maple Tree was destroyed in 
the fire." 

H.T. Devine, 1886: "For two or three days we camped in the middle of Abbott Street." 

A.M. Whiteside: "I saw the fire from New Westminster, in the sky." 

Theo. Bryant, 1878: "A big cloud of dark smoke drifting overSumas Mountain indicated a big fire 
somewhere; there were no telephones in those days." 

A.K. Stuart, 1884: "Mayor MacLean told me later that my story to the London Morning Post brought him 
$500 for relief purposes from that paper." 

Dr. H.E. Langis, 1884: "My poor skeleton," mourned Dr. Langis, whose anatomical specimen was found 
beneath the ruins of his office, "do you know what they said when they picked it up. Well, they said, This 
poor fellow must have been sick before he died; look, his bones are all wired together.'" 

Geo. R. Gordon, 1886: "What rebuilt it?" (Vancouver) "Why, faith; we'd nothing else; all we had left was 
our debts." 

Peter Gonzales, 1 877: "I still bear the scars of that disastrous fire." 

Geo. L. Schetky, 1886, member, Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade: "That reminds me of the bush fire at 
the corner of Howe and Pender streets, where Father Clinton lost his hat. We got back about three in the 
morning, and found the women had turned out with hot coffee and sandwiches; that was the start of the 
'Coffee Brigade'; the women always turned out after that." 

Mrs. McGovern: "Grown men, the silly things, would race across the street to see the train come in; they 
had never seen one. Father used to assure them it was quite safe to go on board." 

Dr. "Bob" Mathison, Kelowna, 1886: "I was printer on Vancouver's first newspaper, the Herald." 

Mrs. S.W. Handy, 1 884: "My step-father, Jas. Southam, then late British Navy, put his land script on 1 50 
acres of what is now Stanley Park." 

James McWhinnie, 1878: "Jericho! Oh, that was a little cove, first known as 'Jerry's Cove'; Jerry Rogers 
had a logging camp there." 

John McDougall, 1 878: "I built the wagon road" (now Kingsway) "in 1 884; later I cleared the forest off 440 
acres west of Burrard Street." 

Mrs. J.Z. Hall, daughter of Sam Greer of Greer's Beach, and whose early home stood on the site of the 
present Kitsilano bathhouse: "A two-plank sidewalk led from our front door to the sandy beach; beyond 
the picket gate was a log we used to tie our boats to. Along the beach were a few bushes, above 
Cornwall Street the enormous trees were very dense. Our cows pastured in the swamp behind. It was a 
fairy dell on a silent shore." 

Mrs. Percy Nye: "The Simpsons built the first bathing pavilion at English Bay; a bit of a shack; I built the 
second, out of bits of boards and driftwood; I was just a girl. I charged five cents for individuals, and ten 
cents for families; saved the nickels and bought a watch." 


Many pioneers of 1886: "Good old black Joe Fortes, bartender, shoeshine and man of jobs at the 
'Sunnyside'; one of the only two men to whom Vancouver has erected a monument." 

Wm. Walton, 1 885: "After the fire I built a shack on the island in Coal Harbour. One day I came home, 
and found someone had buried a Chinaman near, and about a month later they planted another dead 
man near my house. I said to my partner, 'I'm going to get out of this, this is a regular dead man's island.' 
'Good name for it,' he replied. When the Chinese riots took place they wanted me for a witness, but I had 
gone to my island to look at some traps I had set for coon. They asked my partner where I was. He said, 
'Deadman's Island.' They said, 'Where's that?' He told them, and the name stuck. 

Geo. L. Allen, 1885: "'Cambie Street' was undoubtedly our first playground, and before Stanley Park, too. 
Al Larwell was honorary caretaker, the city's first. A fine man, strict, but the boys loved him just the same." 

Geo. H. Keefer, 1885: "When it became known that we were surveying for water to be brought across the 
inlet we were thought to be just a little queer. How water could be brought across the foaming tides of the 
First Narrows was a bit of a puzzler for some who drew their water from wells." 

Philip Oben, 1 887: "Chief Joe Capilano, who was my guide, told me I was the first white man to penetrate 
to the headwaters of the Capilano River. I was sent to find out where the river came from. Joe and I came 
out on Howe Sound." 

Jas. A. Smith, 1888: "I was lost in the forest. I slid down a steep cliff; it must have been Strathcona, above 
the Quilchena golf course." 

H.P. McCraney, 1885: "John Clough, the official street lamplighter, had been appointed, at $30 per 
month, to light the coal oil lamps on the street lamp posts, but people were tired of coal oil and candles, 
so we started the electric light plant; the street lights were 32 candle power, little 'glowworms.' 

"The first street car track I laid on Granville Street, just above Pacific Street — on the level, so that the 
horses would have an easy start when they commenced to pull." 

Capt. Percy Nye, 1890: "I was walking up the board sidewalk on Granville Street, when I saw a woman in 
white coming through the bushes Howe Street way. She called, 'Is my boy under there?' Granville Street 
was road on one side only; the other was a hollow, and the boardwalk elevated about six feet on stilts. I 
jumped down and peeped under the sidewalk into a boy's play shack made out of boards, and lined with 
newspapers. I often wonder what distinguished citizen of today had his 'pirate's den' under the boardwalk 
opposite the Hudson's Bay store." 

Mrs. H.E. Campbell, 1890: "Someone cried, 'Oh, look, come look.' We all rushed to the window. It was a 
woman crossing the field where now is the airport; women were rare morsels in those days." 

A.C. Muir, Comox, 1 884: "Vancouver newspapers continually report me as one of the 'pioneer dead.' Now 
just who may they be?" 

W.E. Graveley, 1885: "Yes, Mayor MacLean was a man of broad vision, generous to a fault, and a man of 
whom Vancouver might well be proud to have had for its first mayor. Many of our first aldermen, too, were 
distinguished men of great heart and understanding." 

Our first mayoress, Mrs. M.A. MacLean, 1886: "The lovely flowers sent by his Worship Mayor Taylor and 
the City Council are a constant source of pleasure. This gracious message on my 84* birthday has so 
greatly added to the happiness of the occasion." 



The first stationery store in Granville. Thos. R. Pearson. 

"My first employment was in the office of the Paymaster of the Government Surveys, became chief clerk 
in February 1878, and retained this position until the office was abolished and the C.P.R. route 

"Next went in the stationery and fancy goods business in New Westminster, and became B.X. Express 
agent. In those days conditions were very different to what they are now. I used to attend to my own 
business from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. after which I did up the express and frequently packed as much gold 
upon my back as I could stagger under down to the wharf at all hours of the night and no street lights in 
those days, but it was never molested. Would not get far with it these days, eh? 

"I can remember upon returning from a trip my wife and I had to take a canoe to get from old Gastown to 
English Bay where my father-in-law Mr. C.G. Major and family were in their summer camp. 

"At the time of the fire I had a place of business adjoining the old Granville Hotel and had some $7,000.00 
worth of goods burned upon which there was no insurance." 

Thos. R. Pearson, New Westminster, 1932. 

(Note: it was from this stationery store that W.H. Gallagher bought the pad of plain paper, pen and ink, 
with which our City Council first started to record its proceedings; all presumed to have been burned in 
the fire.) 

Early trails. English Bay campers, 1882. C.G. Major. 

"In 1882, I along with my parents, camped on the property now owned by the City on English Bay. This 
property is where the bandstand and little park is, just back of the bathing beach. My father owned this 
property and afterwards sold it to the city. The only way we could get in to what is now the main part of 
the City of Vancouver was to go by canoe or boat through the Narrows or up False Creek to about where 
the C.N.R. Depot now stands, and then walk through a trail to the one business street. There was a trail 
through by Coal Harbour at that time which at times was not passable. One sister, Mrs. T.R. Pearson, is 
the only other member of the family" (see above) "beside myself who was there at that time. Of course, I 
was pretty young at that time, fifty years ago." 

H.C. Major, Official Administrator, New Westminster, 1932. 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_075 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_076 


The Herald newspaper. 

"With the passing of Bill Findlay, the last of my staff is gone; he started out with me a year or so before I 
sold out to Evans and Hastings in 1 890. I am the only one left, too, of the printers who worked on 
Vancouver's first newspaper, the Herald." 

Dr. Robert Mathison, Kelowna, 1932. 

Felling the forest in Vancouver. 

"The trees on the C.P.R. Reserve west of Homer and south of Smythe street, around the C.P.R. 
Roundhouse way, were cut down in 1 887." 

James J. Mellard, 1932. 

The Vancouver Daily News, newspaper. 

An article on J.H. Ross, now, 1932, of Winchester, Ontario, states that "with his partner, Mr. N. Harkness, 
published the first daily newspaper, the Vancouver Daily News, just two weeks before the fire. 

"The harrowing picture of nine charred bodies gathered in one room for identification. 

"He left immediately for Victoria where he stayed with his friend Mr. John Robson, afterwards premier of 
B.C. and through him got a letter of introduction to the publisher of the Columbian in New Westminster, 
and on the third morning after the fire the Vancouver Daily News was again being sold on the streets of 

"The News plant stood where the Vancouver Province is now." 

North Arm Road. 

"The North Arm Road, or what is Fraser Street now, was constructed some time after '82. I came in 
September 1 882, and it was after I came. There was a mud road where Water Street is. Cordova and 
Hastings streets were heavily timbered, and there was a rough road running out to" (Carrall Street now) 
"False Creek." 

D. Sutherland, McGuire, P.G.E. Ry, 1932. 


"When Vancouver was burned I was working at Jericho for the late A.C. Fraser, lumberman." 
James Springer, Powell River, 1932. 

Major General John W. Stewart, C.B. 

"Was present with Mr. LA. Hamilton at the driving of the first survey stake, corner of Hamilton and 
Hastings streets." 

Indian church. 

"In 1875, when the Rev. Thomas Derrick succeeded Rev. James Turner, we built an Indian church on the 
same lot which was washed by the waters of Burrard Inlet, hence it was very convenient for the Indians 
who came from all parts of the inlet in their canoes, and also for the preacher's boat as the only means of 
getting about amongst their parishioners." 

Rev. C.M.Tate, 4 April 1932. 



"In 1877, with a friend of mine, hired an Indian to take us from Port Moody to Gastown in his canoe, 
walking back to New Westminster through the timber." 

Dan Callaghan, Port Haney, 24 May 1932. 

Moodyville Tickler, first newspaper. 

"I have a copy, Vol. 1 No. 1 of the Moodyville Tickler, pioneer newspaper of Burrard Inlet, 20 July 1878. 
Price 50 cents per copy." 

Mrs. H.A. Christie, 1932. 

Douglas Road. 

"June 1883 to Granville by horse stage over Douglas Road, a mere horse trail through the woods. It was 
then a small place of one short street, a sawmill and logging village." 

Mrs. C. Cronin, nee Blackstock, May 1932. 

Great Fire, 1886. 

"Those who did not dash away within the first five minutes were overcome and burnt to a crisp in the 
streets; others when too late to escape jumped down into wells, but were found suffocated and burnt. 

"A team of horses, delivery wagon and man driver attempting to pass through Hastings Street where the 
Holden Block" (City Hall) "now stands, were overcome and lost; all that remained was the iron tires and 
the ashes." 

Edward Cook, 5937 Sperling Avenue, 14 May 1932. 

Real estate, False Creek. 

"Wishing to see some lots of False Creek one day was advised by the agent to get there at low tide." 
"On the day of the fire, Mr. Lambert, a friend, was burned to death in the Burrard Hotel, just completed." 
T. Fred Clulow, Shushartie Bay, 1932. 

Early photographer. 

"We came here in April 1886, and started a photo gallery. Whilst not the first to start before the fire was 
the only one to start the morning after; all the old photos of Vancouver are taken by me." 

Harry T. Devine, 1932. 

Born on False Creek, 1874. 

"I was born on False Creek, 15 June 1874. My father, John Elliot, was working in a logging camp at False 
Creek and Jericho. He moved to Nanaimo in 1879." 

Geo. Elliot, New Westminster, May 1932. 

A.H. Ferguson. 

"My father came to the Pacific Coast in 1877, and recalled the time when Vancouver had only six or 
seven houses. He told us about coming across the body of a woman while walking down one of the paths 
who had lost her life, and her body was burned to a crisp where she had fallen while trying to escape the 


"He was steamboating, and helped to carry the people across to Moodyville." 
Mrs. Basil Irvine, New Westminster, March 1932. 

Capt. Geo. Rudlin. 

"I was a member of the crew of the tugboat Grappler with headquarters on Burrard Inlet in 1874. Our 
skipper was Capt. Geo. Rudlin, afterwards with the C.P.R. on the triangular run." (The much respected 
Capt. Rudlin of the old Charmer.) 

John Flewin, Government Agent, Port Simpson, 1888-1907. 

Jericho logging camp. 

"During the fire of 1886, my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gerrard, were living near what is now called Jericho 
Beach, where Mr. Gerrard was engaged in logging for the Hastings Mill Co. They arrived in Granville on 8 
August 1885." 

Minnie D. McTaggart, Vancouver, March 1932. 

Birth at Moodyville. 

"My husband's people had a ranch at Moodyville. When my husband was born, his father Herman 
Haggman sailed the inlet one stormy night and rode on horseback to New Westminster. He had to prevail 
upon the doctor there to return with him, and it was a ride somewhat like that of John Gilpin for the doctor 
left his hat upon the road. Mr. Haggman had to prevail upon him to enter the sailboat for the storm had 
not abated. They reached the other side safely, but too late. An Indian woman had been his guide into the 

Catherine C. Haggman, New Westminster, May 1932. 

The Great Fire and Stanley Park. 

"My step-brother and myself were going up Water Street where the Sunnyside was built, when the people 
started to holler 'Fire' and run, so we turned and raced for our skiff; the fire was coming at an awful rate 
from the C.P.R. Townsite. I lived with my step-father and mother Mr. and Mrs. Southam; my name was 
Sarah Emily Bullock. 

"My step-father put his scrip on 150 acres of land that is Stanley Park. My mother came out from England 
on the ship Robert Low with Mrs. David Spencer, Sr. Mr. James Southam, my step-father, had served in 
the Royal Navy and was given scrip; Stanley Park at that time was just government land. 

"I got into my skiff and started home, but had only got as far as Deadman's Island when everything was 
gone; it was a grand but awful sight." 

Mrs. S.W. Handy, Cascade, B.C., April 1932. 

Spratt's Oilery. 

"Was built by Spratts of Victoria in 1875."- F.H. Holt, 1932. 

Note: see docket on W.R. Lord, who says (26 August 1 933) that it was originally built by Andrew Rusta 
but taken over and reconstructed by Spratts. 

First white child born in Vancouver. 

"My mother was the mother of the first white child born in Vancouver after incorporation, a daughter, 
afterwards married, now dead." (Both wrong.) 

Frank A. Jackson, son of Mrs. John W. Jackson, jeweller. 


(Note: Mrs. D.R. Reid says her child, Alexander Campbell Reid, was the first.) 
Neither are correct. See Margaret Florence McNeil, 27 April 1 886. 

Canadian Pacific Railway construction. 

"The C.P.R. General staff was at Port Moody, except for Mr. Cambie who was then chief engineer for the 
Pacific Coast construction, and in charge of the line construction from Port Moody to Vancouver. He had 
his office at Hastings." (Major General) "J.W. Stewart and H.B. Smith, one of Mr. Cambie's assistant 
engineers, who went east soon after the line was completed." 

Paul Marmette. 

Doctor Beckingsale. Great Fire. 

"Dr. Beckingsale ran back to his house to rescue his wife's jewels, but when he got a safe distance, he 
found it was a hatchet he had rescued instead of his wife's jewels." 

Mrs. Thos. Whipple, May 1932. 

(Mrs. D.R. Reid says, "two hatchets.") 

Geo. Wagg. Canadian Pacific Railway construction. 

"Came to Nanaimo coal mines in September 1882 by way of Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington, 
Northern Pacific Railway under construction from east end and west end, a gap of 800 miles between the 
two ends. I walked; it took 30 days about. Stayed at Granville Hotel, foot of Carrall Street Christmas 1882; 
afterwards went to Port Moody and helped to discharge 300 miles of railroad iron which had come out 
from England." 

Geo. Wagg, 1932. 

Canadian Pacific Railway construction. Vancouver and Port Moody. 

"Arrived Gastown summer of 1 883. Was with Rogers on preliminary survey of C.P.R. from Port Moody, 
reached Hastings on survey on Christmas Day 1884 and worked all day on line in a snowstorm." "Party 
camped in Geo. Black's Hotel" (Brighton Hotel) "at Hastings." 

Otway Wilkie, Westminster, 1932. 

Granville. Hotels. 

"I arrived in New Westminster in 1 865, but it was probably ten years after that I saw Gastown. There was 
three hotels: Deighton's, Sunnyside, and Joe Mannion's; one grocery store and Chinese wash house, and 

Deadman's Island. 

"I have seen a lot of different stories of how Deadman's Island got its name. After the fire, when I was 
burned out, I built a house on the south side of the island. One day when I came back from work I found 
that someone had buried a Chinaman close to my house. About a month after a man named Underhill 
was drowned at Hastings Mill, and they planted him close to the house. So I said to my partner, 'I'm going 
to get out of this; this is a regular dead man's island,' and he said that was a good name to give it, so I 
moved across the bay and rented a cabin from Procter, and when the Chinese Riots happened they 
wanted me as a witness. I had gone over to the island to look at some traps I had set for coon, and they 
asked my partner where I was, and he said, 'Deadman's Island,' and they wanted to know where that 
was, and he told them, and the name stuck ever since." 

Wm. Walton, Port Coquitlam, 1932. 


A.M.Whiteside, K.C. 

"We saw the Great Fire from New Westminster." 
A.M.Whiteside, 1932. 

Early days in Vancouver. Mrs. Emily Strathie. Mrs. Emily Eldon. 

Manuscript written by Mrs. Emily Eldon, 1 1 50 Alberni Street, at request [of] Major Matthews following 
conversation at Pioneers Picnic, Newcastle Island, 15 June 1932. 

The one redeeming feature of the Great Fire, the anniversary of which the pioneers celebrate 
each year, is that it impressed indelibly upon the minds of those who lived through it, conditions 
as they existed at that period of the city's history. Other days may have vanished from our minds, 
but memories of that event, of Vancouver, its environs, and the people of that day, are as clear 
now as they were a week after the fire. 

Water Street before the fire. 

Our little home was on Water Street, facing the sea, and about the middle of the block between 
Abbott and Cambie streets, almost directly opposite the Methodist church and parsonage. My 
husband, Mr. Alexander Strathie, a Scotchman, and I were in Winnipeg when, through the North 
West Mounted Police, we first heard of Vancouver, and started off via Chicago and Seattle. 
Seattle was a little bit of a place, and I recall wondering, as we approached it by train, how 
anyone could live in a place like that. We arrived in Victoria in 1885, stayed there a year, there 
was little use coming on to Vancouver then; there was nothing here for him to do, and in the 
spring of 1886 we came on to Vancouver. 

Water Street was not a street at that time; it could hardly be termed a road for it dipped down to 
the contour of the old shore, and the two-plank sidewalk from the parsonage to the Deighton 
Hotel dipped with it. 

Rev. Joseph Hall was living in the parsonage at the time of the fire. I knew the Rev. James 
Turner, and also the Rev. CM. Tate, the Indian missionary; he just came and went. Two or three 
little narrow paths led up and down the shore, up the bank of the shore in front of our house; worn 
by the Indians constantly going backwards and forwards to their canoes on the beach. The shore 
was littered with big boulders, and kelp; there was no sand. 

Vancouver's first tea room. 

My husband engaged in the contracting business; he leased a lot [Lot No. 2, block 5, O.G.T.] 
from Mrs. Mowat, and built a small house, as I have said, facing the sea, and opposite the 
Methodist church and stable. The little restaurant sometimes referred to by pioneers as mine was 
not actually a restaurant or cafe or anything of that sort. What really happened was this. 

Before the fire people used to come over from New Westminster; it was a good long drive in a 
buggy, and sometimes they wanted a cup of tea and something light to eat. There was no place 
where such could be obtained in Granville; at the hotels there was a bar, and the dining room 
open at regular hours, or you could buy biscuits at the store, and munch them on the roadway, 
but there was no place where a person could get a cup of tea and a piece of cake or toast. 
People used to ask me, before "The Fire" to give them a cup of tea, which I did, at first doing it to 
oblige them, but it got to be a habit with the people, so I said to Mr. Strathie, who did not care 
very much for the idea, "I'm going to put in a couple of tables." That was all the restaurant there 
was to it. 

Stanley Park before "The Fire." 

It had been our custom, my husband's and mine, to take a walk on Sunday afternoons; 
sometimes, indeed frequently, we went towards the west, along a narrow trail which led from 
Water Street in the direction of Coal Harbour, and English Bay. The trail led along the top of The 
Bluff, it ran between what is now Pender Street and Seaton Street, [Hastings Street West] passed 
John Morton's clearing, just a little clearing, less than an acre with a board shack big enough for 


two people, and wandered on towards what is now the entrance to Stanley Park. It was a narrow 
track, lined with bushes so thick and close that it was necessary for a woman to draw in her skirts 
close around her legs to avoid her clothing being torn. 

The first Stanley Park "bridge." 

At almost the exact spot where, first the bridge, and afterwards the present causeway was built, 
was the narrowest point of Coal Harbour — that was why the bridge was built there — an enormous 
tree had fallen across Coal Harbour, and its trunk formed the first primitive crossing into our great 
park, or as we called it then, The Reserve. It was an enormous tree with its roots still attached. 
Where it came from I don't know, likely blown over, perhaps drifted in. I never saw such 
tremendous limbs on a tree. Tree and branches rest in the mud and water, which, when the tide 
was in, was fairly deep. I recall how gingerly we crossed the trunk of that tree, and how my 
husband used to exclaim, "Now, be careful, don't fall into that water." I was young then, and 
enjoyed the scramble across the tree trunk; once on the far side we hopped from boulder to 
boulder till we got to dry land, and then strolled down the skid roads until it was time to go home 
again. They were getting shingle bolts out. I rather think it must have interfered with boats and 
canoes entering the head of Coal Harbour, for it was right in the water. 

An interrupted jaunt — The Great Fire. 

Well, on the particular Sunday afternoon of the fire, our midday meal was over, and together with 
a friend, a Mr. Haslam, we had decided to take our usual tour. There was a lot of smoke about, at 
that time a more or less continuous condition; we were accustomed to it, but on that day it was 
particularly bad, and towards two o'clock it became so dense we could hardly see; perhaps that 
was the reason we wanted to go for a walk, to get out of it for a while. There had been talk that 
someday or other the great piles of debris of clearing — great pyramids of roots up on the hillside 
all ready for burning — would take fire, and burn us up. Cordova Street, west of Abbott, and as far 
as the present C.P.R. station, was being cleared for plowing. The orders were not to set fire to the 
piles of wood until a wet day, but the ground was everywhere covered with that peculiar kind of 
brown covering of decayed leaves and wood, common in a forest, and which when dry smoulders 
like a punk stick. The ground was extremely dry, perhaps someone had dropped a match or 
cigarette or something; perhaps a bit of fire had been smouldering for a week, and needed 
nothing other than a wind to set it going as a fire. Anyway, after our meal, Mr. Haslam and Mr. 
Strathie said they would go off and take a look at the fire while I prepared to go out with them. 
And off they went. 


While Mr. Strathie and Mr. Haslam were away I prepared to go out. We did not indulge in much 
preparation or dress. Clothes such as one would wear in a city were out of place in Vancouver 
before the fire. I had on a cheap print dress and slippers, and went upstairs for some purpose. I 
was also wondering what was keeping my husband and Mr. Haslam so long. To the west of our 
house, separated by a narrow passage of, perhaps, four or five feet, was a similar house. At our 
back, on the lane, and facing Cordova Street, was a very pretty house, newly built, newly painted, 
the property of George Black, and it had recently been elaborately furnished. Surrounding us, 
particularly across the lane were a good many small trees and bushes, in fact, the new house 
was built among them. Cordova Street was, of course, opened up, but it could scarcely be called 
a street. 

I had just entered a bedroom, and was standing momentarily, when with astonishing suddenness, 
a great sheet of flame swept before my eyes down the narrow passageway between our home 
and the next house; for a moment I was bewildered; it was so startlingly sudden, and more or less 
mechanically, I suppose, I grasped my husband's hat which lay on the dressing table, and as I 
slipped out of the room I had but a few seconds earlier entered, the windows crashed in; it was a 
remarkable experience. 

Almost simultaneously, I heard my husband calling from below, "Come quick, come quick," and 
then adding, "don't waste any time." I rushed downstairs and he told me to dash straight across 
the street; right straight across. Upstairs was a trunk, it contained fine clothes, some jewellery and 


treasures, some my husband's, some my own; we kept them in the trunk for the reason that they 
were quite unsuitable for wear in the rough and ready old Granville; they were proper enough for 
a city, but not for Granville; too conspicuous altogether. He bolted upstairs, got the trunk and 
dragged it across the street to where I was waiting on the shore, then over the bank, down the 
Indian path — one of their little trails — and out onto the wet beach where he deposited the trunk on 
two good sized boulders. 

We were cut off by the fire, there was no escape, neither to the eastward nor to the westward; 
one thing alone remained, take to the water, and we were not long about it either. 

The lumberjack's hasty raft. 

On the shore were a number of people, including two lumberjacks, and those two lumberjacks 
certainly were wonderful men, in their great big gum boots up to their hips. Out of the loose 
lumber near at hand, ready for building a store for a tailor, they and others, made a clumsy raft by 
placing beams and planks crisscross one upon another, and onto this rickety pile of lumber — no 
nails or fastenings — it was done in a great hurry, fifteen men and two women scrambled as we 
pushed it out into deeper water. Mrs. Ben Wilson's father, Mr. Morris, I think that was his name, 
had gout, or something, anyway he was a cripple and could not use his legs, was placed on the 
raft, and of course the farther we pushed it out from the shore the deeper it sank for its human 
load was far too heavy for it, until finally the water was up to Mrs. Ben Wilson's father's neck; he 
was sitting in the water, the rest of us were in the water up to our middle and each clutching each 
other, for our foothold was extremely unsteady, and we had to hold on to each other in order to 
keep upright. Anchored some distance from the shore was one or two dinghies from pleasure 
boats. We were all clutching to keep on the raft as best we could; Mrs. Ben Wilson was appealing 
to save her father. 

Then my husband said he was going to swim out to one of the dinghies, and take me with him, 
but I said, "No, you cannot make it," but he said he could, and I said, "No, you go alone, you will 
never be able to make it with me, we shall both drown." I could not swim. 

We tried to push the raft out still further; the fire was all around us, and the flame was coming 
right over. Then at that moment, a little steam pleasure yacht from Moodyville, I do not know her 
name, but she was owned by a Capt. Butler, and had just come in the inlet from New 
Westminster, saw our plight, and by careful, clever manoeuvring — she had to work and worm her 
way in to avoid the flames — reached us. We got onto her, and I was put in the captain's little pilot 
house. I was so cold my teeth were chattering, I could scarcely articulate. We were taken down to 
Andy Linton's wharf, which was a float running well out into the water; there were some boats 
there, got into those, and rowed out to the hulk Robert Ker, we were the second boat load to 
reach her. 

The Robert Ker. 

At that time the Robert Ker, afterwards dismantled, and for many years used as a coal hulk by the 
C.P.R., was an idle sailing vessel floating at anchor; she was owned by Mrs. E.B. McKelvie's 
father, Capt. Soule; anyway, she was in charge of a caretaker, employed to prevent theft of her 
sails and equipment. The first boat load of people to reach the hulk had been refused, so we were 
told, to be allowed aboard; the stupid man had said he had orders to keep people off; that was 
what he was paid for, and threats were made to throw him into the water before he could be 
induced to let the rope ladder down, but when we arrived there the people were aboard; that must 
have been about three in the afternoon. Once aboard there was nothing to do save stay there. My 
possessions consisted of my print dress and slippers I stood in, and my husband's hat; my 
husband lacked a coat. In time the fire dwindled, the excitement calmed down; all that was left of 
Vancouver was the soil. 

Recovery of the trunk. 

Towards evening I began to wonder how my trunk had fared. As you know, in June it is light 
almost until ten o'clock. Then, when I saw the caretaker with a pair of field glasses, I asked for the 
loan of them. He enquired what I would like to look at. I replied I would like to see where I had 


lived. I searched the shore with the field glasses, but no sign of the trunk, so I determined to go in 
search of it. I got a boat, and a man rowed me over — my husband did not want me to go, so I 
went away without him knowing, he said it was useless to go over — and just as we reached the 
shore I saw a couple of Indians coming down the little path I have told you about; one of them, an 
Indian woman, had a little red and white thing in her hands, a little thing just a few inches long. I 
recognized it as the pincushion my mother had taught me to make, and it had been in my trunk. I 
enquired of the Indian woman where she got it, and she replied, "just there," pointing; she had 
picked it up floating in the water. The tide had come in. I requested the man who had rowed me 
over to put his hand down into the kelp; he did so. The first thing he brought up from the bottom 
was a handful of kelp, and hanging onto the bottom of the kelp was a little black thing which 
arrested my attention; miraculously it was my little gold locket, burned black by fire. I told the man 
to keep on. The next thing he brought up was my husband's silver watch, now in the Vancouver 
Museum, or your Archives, wherever you are going to put it. I have kept it forty-six years, though 
as a watch it had been valueless. Further efforts produced nothing save burned fragments of a 
blouse or a skirt. The locket and watch, being heavy, had probably sunk lower and lower as the 
clothing burned, and were thus preserved. The locket chain, however, being light had probably 
remained in the burning clothing, and had melted together. This incident may seem trifling, but it 
gives people of today some idea of the terrific heat and force of the fire. My trunk was placed so 
far down on the beach, so far from the bank which was dry land, that it was amongst the kelp, 
and when retrieved, covered with water the depth of a man's reach, the heat must have been so 
intense as not only to complete the destruction of the trunk at a distance, but with such 
completeness that a metal chain melted together. 

Subsequently a Victoria jeweller made the black gold locket as good as new; it was gold, and I 
have it yet. 

As I returned to the Robert Ker, I heard shouts, "Here she is"; my husband had said it was "no 
good" going ashore, and when he missed me became alarmed, and thought I might have fallen 

Note: W.E. Graveley's metal office sign, bearing their firm name, was placed beside a stump for safety 
after removal from his office entrance; all that was afterwards found was a lump of metal on the earth. 
Similar instances are numerous. 

How Mrs. Hall [Rev. Joseph Hall] and her children got onto the scow I do not know. The Rev. 
Joseph Hall was away at Eburne preaching, and had the horse with him. He possessed also two 
cows [Mrs. J.Z. Hall's narrative, Early Vancouver, 1931, Matthews.] Someone opened the stable 
door, and let them out. One, the big white one, went out in the inlet, and kept swimming in and 
out from the shore; I recall how she would blow — like a whale — and thus saved herself. A dog — I 
think he was deaf — did the same thing. The other cow was afterwards found dead across the 
Indian trail down the bank just west of the stable. It seems to me that the stable was west of the 
parsonage, and the hall — after it, the hall was built just before the fire — to the east of the 
parsonage. All were on one lot, they were close together, right in front of our place. 

John McLennan's place was up near the corner of Cambie Street — west of the Carter House; I 
think Scoullar's hardware store was east of the Carter House, next door. 


The new steamer Princess Louise with a lot of Victoria passengers came in the next morning 
about ten o'clock; she should have been in earlier, but had been delayed. The passengers all 
went back, of course, to stay in Vancouver was impossible, and I went with them. Mr. Strathie 
and I talked it over, and decided that I should go to Victoria and try to get things started again; he 
remained behind to prepare a new home. He admonished me not to stop too long; I said it might 
take a week. So away I went, my only clothes were my print dress and my slippers; my hair was 
all loose, those were the days of long hair, and I had lost all my hairpins. 

At Victoria I had much to contend with. There were no chartered banks in Victoria at that time, nor 
in Vancouver; money was deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank, and the Post Office 


required thirty days notice. I presume the regulations would have been suspended in such 
circumstances if it had been possible; perhaps they had not the actual coin or notes on hand to 
meet such a sudden demand. Anyway, I could get no money out of the Post Office Savings Bank, 
and did not know what to do. 

To cut short a long story of bewilderment I will simply state that I was walking up the street when I 
met Mr. Brown of Brown Bros., the grocers. We knew each other, but I had had no business 
dealings with them. He stopped and enquired if I was one of the victims of the fire, and I said I 
was. The outcome was that he said he would try and get me some money, and took me to the 
private banking firm of "Kishner Green"; no, I don't know how to spell it. 

Mr. Brown presented me to a man at the counter whom I had never seen. The man asked, "how 
much did I want?" I replied, "$500." I added that while it was very good of Mr. Brown to identify 
me, at the same time Mr. Brown was almost a stranger to me, knew nothing of my affairs, and 
that, kind as he was, his identification was of very little real value as he knew nothing of my 
circumstances, but that if the gentleman at the counter would give me the money I would give him 
my check for it. He kept looking me up and down, and I kept trembling in my shoes. I was getting 
quite nervous; fear that I should be refused. Presently he said, "All right, I'll give it to you," I gave 
him my check, my husband's account and mine were joint. 

Some fifty graniteware kitchen utensils were given me, I bought a stove, I got more things and in 
about seven days returned to Vancouver, carrying among my possessions a much treasured 
present, a great roast of beef. 



' ! Alex. Str at hie. Water st 
Suilt June 1886 ~» Demolished 1910 







. . . , 
'■ former home, 

. .. . 

Vancouver". Matthews, 1932. 

Photo ApR. it) JO, 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_077 


Rebuilding a home again, on Water Street. 

Mr. Strathie was rebuilding when I arrived; a two-storey home, No. 1 1 8 Water Street, on our old 
leased lot on Water Street; the floor was down, the scantling of the frame was up, and part of the 
siding, perhaps three or four feet, but there was no roof. The Hastings Mill was but a small mill in 
those days; once every two months or so a sailing ship would come in, her cargo would be ready 
for her on arrival, and she took some time to load too, but when the great demand for lumber for 
rebuilding Vancouver was thrown upon them it was beyond their capacity to meet it, so that the 
lumber was apportioned out, and that was the reason so little progress had been made, during 
my seven days absence, in the construction of our house. 

Hastings Mill wharf. 

"Whether the construction of the C.P.R. wharf at the foot of Granville Street had been started or 
not I am not sure; certain I am that it was not being used. Hence I went down to the Hastings Mill, 
where all the freight was being landed, to get my household possessions; the kitchenware 
presented me was missing; it had been checked off the steamer; the shed was blocked with stuff 
coming in. There was some confusion; it was a reconstruction period; at least the shed was 
cleared, but no kitchenware. The checker enquired its value. I replied, "$12.00," and was given 
the sum, and bought more at the store, but all I could get was tinware. The stove was set up on 
our lot on Water Street in the open; there was no other place to do it. Presently men began to 
come around and ask for a meal. I told them I had nothing for them. "But," they said, "we know 
you have." I asked them how they knew; the answer was that they could smell it; the aroma of the 
cooking was spreading over the adjacent area. I told them the roast was just a small one I had 
brought from Victoria, but eventually they got some of it. A lot of strangers came from many 
places to see the ruins the fire had caused. 

Georgia Street "in the stumps." 

We remained on Water Street until 1889; we lived in the upper storey subsequently, and rented 
the lower to Mr. George Melven to use as a jewellery store. Then we moved to a new home "out 
in the clearing." There were only two houses on Georgia Street, one belonged to Mr. Cambie the 
C.P.R. engineer — on the southeast corner of Thurlow and Georgia streets; ours was on our first 
sixty-six foot lot in the 1100 block further west, between Bute and Thurlow, south side; afterwards 
we acquired two more sixty-six foot lots adjoining; we had to cut our way through the brush, small 
trees, and stumps, to reach it. That would be in the summer of 1 889. 

[signed] Mrs. Emily Strathie. 

Note: Mrs. Emily Strathie afterwards married the late George Eldon, City Park Ranger (or superintendent) 
for many years. There are no children. The home at No. 118 Water Street was demolished in April 1910. 
(See photo with Mrs. Eldon and Mr. Eldon standing in the doorway, also a bicycle, the day demolition was 
in progress.) 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_078 














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Item# EarlyVan_v2_079 




The Tremont Hotel. 

There is a photograph extant showing a rough, very rough, board shed with five men before it, three 
standing, two sitting — one the two on a small stove — and in the background a tent, in the distance other 
small frame buildings being erected, a tree on the left, Burrard Inlet, and charred boards lying about. The 
word "TREMONT" appears on a white square on the front of the shed. 

This is the "Tremont Hotel Four Days After the Great Fire." It stood on the southeast corner of Powell and 
Carrall streets; not exactly on the corner, but afterwards at No. 16 Carrall Street. 

Geo. L. Allen, owner of the first boot and shoe store, was asked, 24 February 1933, to elucidate the 
photograph. He said, "For booze," then he smiled, "the boys had got to have their booze even if the town 
had burned down." 

Then he continued, "McKendrick, the man who made the famous boots. Oh, his was not a shoe store, he 
just made boots, what we called a 'buck-eye' shoe store. He had a little store on Cordova or Carrall 
Street; it was on Carrall Street first, I think, before the fire, afterwards Cordova." 

CD. Rand. 

Together we called on Mr. Fowler, of E.E. Rand and Fowler, financial and real estate agents, Bower 
Building. Mr. Fowler said, "Oh, I burned all CD. Rand's books. They were lying around here so long, I 
could not keep them any longer; they were quite interesting too; showed all the purchases of the first lots 
sold in Vancouver." 

Clearing the forest off "West End." E.G. Baynes. 

E.G. Baynes, of Baynes and Horie, (generally reputed) owner of Grosvenor Hotel, also a forest lodge in 
the north, believed called Douglas something, park commissioner for many years, private in Vancouver's 
first militia (volunteer) unit, associated with Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church and presented them with an 
organ; a splendid citizen of great public spiritedness and sound judgment. Mr. Baynes said, 25 July 1932: 

"It seems to me to have been a long time before the area west of Nicola Street to the park was cleared of 
forest. I was employed with many others cutting down black stumps and burning them; over an area of 
large extent running from English Bay east as far as Bute or Thurlow, and I don't know how far north. 

"I arrived here 6 April 1889, and about a week after went to work as above for $2.00 for ten hours. Then I 
went to help my uncle J.H. Franklin on some building work for Mr. E.H. Heaps on Powell Street." (Also 
archway, at entrance, to first bridge to Stanley Park.) 

"Possibly about two or three years later I helped to build the McCreery house on Pacific Street for $3 per 
day," (now site of Tudor Manor) "one of the first I think in that locality. Horrobin and Holden were 
contractors, Fripp architect. Tommy Graham, foreman, still alive, so is Mrs. Horrobin." 

English Bay in 1890s. 

"During this period and after we used to walk through the bush by path" (new growth) "from the Hotel 
Vancouver to English Bay. The sandy beach was then a very small area and our 'dressing rooms' were in 
the bushes." 


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Item# EarlyVan_v2_083 


Street car tickets. "Malkin's Best" and "Taylor's Slacks." 

"Malkin's Best" and "Taylor's Slacks" were euphemisms. The former was the trademark of W.H. Malkin 
Co. Ltd., wholesale grocers, and used by them on their teas, coffees, etc., and was applied sneeringly to 
those street car tickets issued after a prolonged argument between the city and the B.C. Electric Railway 
Co. in 1 929 following his Worship W.H . Malkin's election as the first mayor of Greater Vancouver, the 
amalgamated city of Vancouver and the municipalities of Point Grey and South Vancouver, 1 January 
1 929. They were eighteen for one dollar, and proved unpopular; the suggestion was that they were the 
"best that Malkin could do." The appellation was unjust. 

"Taylor's Slacks" was a sequel, epitomizing "a fare for travel during slack period of traffic during day," as 
was first used in August 1932. A pink ticket, nine rides for fifty cents, and proved very popular at once. In 
both cases they were acceptable during the non-rush hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, and all day 
on Sundays and holidays; yet eighteen for one dollar proved unpopular, and were rarely used, while nine 
for fifty cents proved popular and were immediately bought freely. 

The adoption of the weekly pass on all city lines for $1 .25 took place in the fall of 1 932 (September). Most 
people considered it a new idea; actually monthly passes for $1.50 per month were issued in 1898 or 

Gastown. Kingsway — Westminster Road. 

In the panoramic photograph of Vancouver "before the fire," there can be seen the faint outline of 
Kingsway or Westminster Avenue (Main Street) as, in the distance, it descends Mount Pleasant through 
the woods. It can be seen a faint irregular white line; the wagon trail, the "New Road" from New 

Other points of interest are the Ferguson Block — a long roofed two-storey building, corner Carrall and 
Powell streets, then Carrall Street with the dark maple tree, and then the gable end of the Sunnyside 
Hotel. In front of the Ferguson Block can be seen a white horse headed west. To the east of the Ferguson 
Block can be traced Hastings Road running along the shore between what is now Powell and Alexander 
streets, and the stores facing on them. The small church is St. James's about the foot of Columbia 
Avenue. Under a microscope the course of the old road can be traced along the shore. (See Theo. 

The two canoes are of a type which would indicate that they were owned by northern Indians who worked 
at the Hastings Mill; they are not of Squamish design. The historic steamer Beaver is tied up to the 
Hastings Mill wharf, near the freight shed and store. 

Mr. Geo. L. Schetky describes this photo. 

"The long building here in the centre is the Ferguson Block on the southeast corner of Carrall and Powell 
streets. Hartney was on the corner, Grant and Arkell was on Powell Street next door, and my store was 
next. Tom Dunn" (Thos. Dunn Hardware Co.) "was around the corner on Carrall Street. The two-storey 
building with gable end facing you, and diamond shaped black mark in gable, is the Sunnyside Hotel. You 
see this white spot, oblong shaped, about an inch to the west, well, I think that is the old jail on Water 
Street. You can see the maple tree, a dark bushy tree just to the left of the Sunnyside. 

"In the other direction, towards the east, just east of the Ferguson Block on the waterfront was the store of 
'Wings' Wilkinson. He was a cobbler then, now manager of the New York Life in Vancouver, and there is 
a point in West Vancouver called Wilkinson's Point. The tall building to the left — between two trees about 
an inch apart — is 'Tinware and Stoves, F.A. Hart — Furniture.'" 




I i 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_084 


George Cary. 

George Cary, 1 March 1932, read to him and approved 9 March 1932. 

Big trees. 

"The biggest tree I ever saw in British Columbia was the big tree on Georgia Street; its measurement, for I 
measured it more than once, was fourteen feet four inches diameter across the widest part of the stump. 
The stump stood on what is now a theatre, the Strand Theatre, on Georgia Street, south side, east of the 
lane between Hastings and Seymour streets. The stump is probably there yet, unless it has been dug up; 
the streets were not laid out at that time, and it is hard to tell now, part of the stump may have been on 
Georgia Street; I'm not quite sure. When the tree fell it fell towards Granville Street, across the corner of 
the lot where the Hudson's Bay store now stands. If Mr. McCraney says it fell the other way, then Mr. 
McCraney is wrong." (Mr. W.H. Gallagher also states it fell towards Granville Street.) 

"Part of the tree was subsequently cut up in sections and shipped to the Old Country, to some Jubilee, 
Queen Victoria's, exhibition; they might have sent some sections elsewhere, to the Toronto Exhibition; if 
they said they did, perhaps they did, I am not sure. During the clearing operations an attempt was made 
to burn the log, but it would not burn; the heart burned out for ten or twelve feet back, but the sap and 
bark would not burn. A great hole was burned in the centre of the stump. W.H. Gallagher has a photo of 
the burned out stump. J.W. Home set up a 'real estate office' in the burned out butt; just a show place, 
had their photos taken; you know the photo, everyone does. 

"I know nothing about any tree seventy-seven feet in circumference which I am supposed to have felled 
near Vancouver in August 1 895, and which has been published in lumber journals, and made a boast of. I 
am prepared to assert that no such tree, twenty-five feet in diameter, ever grew in the Lynn Valley or 
anywhere else in B.C." 

Query: Could it be that the bark was sixteen inches thick as it says here. 

Answer: "Oh, yes, I have actually seen bark twelve inches thick." 

"That man on the ladder is called George Cary, but it is not me. There are lots of 'Carey' in British 
Columbia, but not another 'Cary.' 'Cary' is Irish, old Huguenot. The tree looks to me like a redwood." 

Note: the picture of this wonderful tree was published on page 1081 of the Illustrated Canadian Forest 
Magazine of October 1922, also the Vancouver Province of 2 November 1930, and the Log of the Lab, 
University of British Columbia, 31 May 1931, and has formed the subject of investigation by the Forestry 
Department of Victoria, and the Forest Products Laboratories of Canada, Point Grey. It was stated to be 
417 feet high, 25 feet in diameter, and felled by George Cary "who is seen on the ladder" near 
Vancouver, in August 1895. Diligent search by several persons including the Forest officials of B.C. has 
never been able to establish anything authentic; it is generally discredited by old loggers who logged 
around Vancouver (see their remarks elsewhere). 


SEE George Cary'B denial of the 
authenticity of this statement 

Illustrated Canadian Forestry Magazine, October, 1922. 

F'-ide HpffldHCMj by courtesy of the Wettern Lumbemai. 

This Fir Giant measured 417 ft, in height with a clear 300 ft to the first limb 

bark 16 in. thick, its circumference being 77 ft,: 207 ft. from the ground its diameter was 9 It 
near Vancouver in August '95 by George Gary, who is seen upon the ladder 

At the butt it was 25 ft. through with 

\\^ T 


ltem# EarlyVan_v2_085 


Port Moody. 

"I arrived in Victoria on the 4 th of April 1 884. They were selling Port Moody lots at that time; you know the 
C.P.R. had been completed from Port Moody to Yale then." (Note: the first through train from Port Moody 
to Yale was on Wednesday, 23 January 1884 - B.C. Directory, 1885.) "My brother and I bought a couple 
of lots and then concluded that we would go over to Port Moody and see them. I think it was on the old 
steamer Irving that we went over to New Westminster, and then went over to Port Moody by stage. The 
tide was out when we got to Port Moody, and when, from the top of the hill, we saw the tide out, and a 
half a mile of bare mud flats below us — we were both steamboat men — we said, 'Good Lord, this is no 
place for a terminus.'" 


"We got an old fellow to row us down here to Granville, and when we got to the Second Narrows the tide 
twirled and twisted the boat around. I said, There's going to be no terminus up there (Port Moody), the 
terminus is going to be down here.' So we put up at the Deighton Hotel." 

Second Beach. Coal Harbour. Stanley Park. 

"I was born with a gun in my hand, so soon afterwards I went after some grouse. I started off for the 
woods around the head of Coal Harbour; west of the present entrance to Stanley Park, as being a more 
likely place than what is now known as the West End of Vancouver. There was no Lost Lagoon then; just 
water all the way from Granville to where you cut across to Second Beach, and plenty of salt grass in the 
shallow shore around the head, too. The first time I saw old Mr. Tippen, who died a year ago, was around 
what was then the head of Coal Harbour, now the west end of Lost Lagoon. He was splitting shingles; 
there were no shingle machines here in those days. There was a trail through from Coal Harbour to 
Second Beach, and a sort of landing there for logs where loggers rolled them into the salt chuck of 
English Bay. I sat on a big stone on the beach, lit my pipe, and had a smoke. 

"It was a beautiful spot, and as silent as the mountain top; the only living thing which moved was my dog. 

"I was 'after' grouse, so after a smoke, I concluded I would take a walk around the reserve, now Stanley 
Park. There was no trail around it then, so I called my dog, and started off into the woods. I kept pretty 
close to the shore; it's safer to keep close to the beach, and after I had gone a piece, the sound of a saw 
in the trees startled me. Sound carries a considerable distance in the trees. 'Funny,' I thought, to hear a 
saw, so I went over to investigate." 


"Before long I located an old fellow with whiskers down to here" — and Mr. Cary drew his hand across his 
stomach. "The old chap did not seem particularly glad to see me, but I had a flask with me, and gave him 
a 'shot of soda water'; that eased things up a bit. I had my lunch with me, and he gave me a cup of tea. I 
said to him, 'what do you do here?' He looked at me sideways and replied, 'Making shingles.' Presently I 
started off on my tramp, but he called after me, 'Hold on,' and proceeded to direct me to a trail leading 
deeper into the woods, to somewhere about where the road runs, probably further in, and saying, 'That's 
where the grouse are.'" 

Coal mine in Stanley Park. 

"Then I noticed a shaft in the ground, perhaps twenty feet deep. He had a windlass over it, lowered a 
bucket down, pulled it up again, and lowered it down. I said, 'What's that?' He looked at me and said, 
'Coal, didn't you see that vein of coal as you came by?' There was no sign of coal in the shaft; he was just 
sinking to where he expected it to be; prospector; he was after coal; the few shingles he made and sold 
got him some grub. The location was past a high place; where there is a lookout now, called Prospect 
Point; somewhere about there. I guess it has been there for centuries, on the Bluff. 

"Oh, yes, it was hard work getting around the reserve, but the going was not as tough as I thought it 
would be; not as tough as I have done prospecting. You will always find an animal trail around such a 
place as Stanley Park; wild animals wander around the shore a lot, and that makes a sort of trail near it." 


Sawmill in Stanley Park. Capt. Stamp. Brockton Point. 

"I don't know just exactly just where Capt. Stamp did locate his first mill in Stanley Park, the one they 
afterwards moved to the Hastings Sawmill site, but I have always understood it was just inside Brockton 
Point; about between that point and Deadman's Island. I always had an idea that those shacks along the 
shore there were built for the sawmill people to use; they probably intended to get their water from Beaver 
Lake, I don't know." 


"Of course, there were Indians living over on the Narrows side of the government reserve; I was over 
there once at a potlatch; lots of turn tumming and dancing; did not seem to be many Indians there. I was 
over in the evening, and perhaps the women and children had gone back to 'the Mission' at North 
Vancouver; they were passing back and forth all the time." 

Cordova Street. Cosmopolitan Hotel. McLennan, McFeelyand Co. Ltd. 

"Cordova Street was not really stumped at the time of the fire in 1 886. The lots were cleared from Water 
Street back to the alley — now Trounce Alley — beyond that all was bush. All was bush between Abbott and 
Cambie; not big trees but small trees and bushes. At the time of the fire, the frame of the old 'Cos,' the 
Cosmopolitan Hotel, northwest corner of Abbott and Cordova, was up, and a big heap of window frames 
and sashes lying in a pile in the street. The studding was not burned and was afterwards used. Mr. 
McFeely, afterwards McLennan, McFeely and Co. Ltd., he was an old town mate of mine from Lindsay, 
Ontario — his father had a little tin shop there in Lindsay, about two by six" (feet) "and he was lame. He 
could not get around on his feet very well, but, my, he was real clever at poker. 

"Well, as I was saying, McLennan, McFeely's were going to start a tin shop; they had one of those hand 
presses; those machines which make galvanized iron guttering, etc., but after the fire they changed their 
minds and got up a lot of little stoves from Victoria. The studding of the little building they were erecting 
for a tin shop escaped the fire;" (see Geo. L. Schetky) "I think it was on the corner of Columbia and 
Powell streets. McFeely came to me and said, 'What shall we do?' I said, 'Get some corrugated iron.' So 
we covered the scantling with corrugated iron, and that was where and how McLennan, McFeely got their 

John Devine. Chinese Riots. 

"John Devine, father of H.T. Devine, built the store on Cordova Street which McLennan, McFeely 
afterwards occupied; I was the contractor. I don't know whatever became of their old tin shed; I suppose 
they used it for a warehouse. The Cordova Street building served them for many years; it had a lot of 
fancy iron work above it in the front; ornamentation; McLennan and McFeely put that on themselves. The 
Hudson's Bay was next door." (See H.P. McCraney and the start of the Vancouver Public Library.) "When 
they sent that bunch of hoodlums, those special police from Victoria at the time of the Chinese Riots, the 
police used to march up and down Cordova Street, and my fellows working on construction could not 
resist throwing the sawn off bits of blocks of wood at them as they passed. The sergeant came over and 
told me he would hold me responsible." 



ltem# EarlyVan_v2_086 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_087 


Bear and coon on Granville Street. 

"The new Edinburgh Hotel was opened for the first time at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 12 th 1886, and 
burned down the next afternoon, Sunday, June 13 th . It was while I was rebuilding it that a couple of 
fellows came to me about an enormous bear which was troubling them out Granville Street way; I had a 
bit of a reputation as a hunter and fisherman. They had a float house down on False Creek," (see 
photograph) "about where Robertson and Hackett's Sawmill is now; just at the north end of the Granville 
Street bridge. Anyway, the two fellows came after me, so I took my dog, and went down the C.P.R. right 
of way which was chopped out; you could not get around by Granville Street very well at that time, and 
what do you suppose I shot. Why, after walking 'clear around' all that distance, I shot the mammoth 
'bear,' and" (disgustedly) "it was nothing more than a great big coon." 

False Creek. L.A. Hamilton. 

"Just after the fire of 1 886, L.A. Hamilton, the C.P.R. surveyor, and his sister, Miss Hamilton, went to live 
across False Creek in a shack built close to the water on the east side of where the Granville Street 
bridge is now." (Note: a little creek came down there.) "It was all trees over there then. I don't know whose 
shack it had been; it was close to the big maple tree." (See Capt. Nye's narrative.) "I think it was where 
the old bull puncher, John — I cannot think of his other name;" (Beatty or Beaty) "he married an Indian and 
had quite a family — had lived; she hung herself; False Creek had no bridge then, and I have rowed Miss 
Hamilton over several times. Of course, farther west on the shore was the Indian Reserve and the 
Indians. There were no houses in Vancouver after the fire, and the Hamiltons and everyone else were 
very glad to get any sort of shelter." 


"Tom Allan had the contract to build the C.P.R. trestle bridge across False Creek. Just west of the trestle 
was his blacksmith's shop; he was making iron bolts and fastenings for the piles of the bridge, and an 
Indian was out shooting ducks or something, and the bullet ricocheted on the water and went through the 
blacksmith's arm. There was a lot of ducks on False Creek in those days." 

Sam Greer. 

"I had a couple of Sam Greer's lots over the bridge. I wanted to help Sam out, so I bought them, fifty or 
seventy-five dollars, and he gave me an agreement that if he won his case against the C.P.R. he would 
give a proper deed for them." 

Blasting away the stumps on Victory Square. 

"Before the fire it was quite a sight; we used to go out on Water Street and watch it; you see they were 
blowing the stumps up on 'the hill,' up above Victory Square and beyond. There were men especially 
detailed for the blasting, and when the gang quit at noon the men were told to 'get out,' and then the 
powdermen would take their torches; they had cut their fuses to different lengths; each man to eight or 
ten fuses. Then each powderman would apply his torch to his longest fuse, and the man next to him do 
the same with the next set of eight or ten, and then each went on along until at last each powderman 
would reach the shortest fuse he had to light, and then they skipped out. It was quite a sight too, and 
sound, oh ho, just like a bombardment, and the roots skyrocketing." 

The Great Fire starts. 

"I don't know how many people lost their lives in the fire, but I do know that there were six or seven 
bodies collected down at the Royal City Planing Mills. Just before the fire burned Vancouver you could 
see nothing for smoke; the whole 'hill,' as we called it then, that is, above Cambie Street, was on fire for 
weeks before that; there had been talk that someday it would burn the town down; we expected some 
such thing would happen with all that C.P.R. slashings and the fires, but on that day you could see 
nothing for smoke, so I went down and told Jack Stewart, the chief of Police, that the men in the saloons 
had better come out and help to fight the fire. Jack replied nonchalantly, 'Oh, yes, that will be all right.' I 
was up by the corner of Cordova and Cambie streets, and we were doing the best we could, but at last it 
got across Cordova Street, but where the Sterling Hotel now is" (northeast corner of Cambie and 
Cordova) "where I was fighting it." 


Flames reach Vancouver. 

"Chunks of flaming wood as big as my leg were flying clear over us through the air, and dropping into the 
town; I was there and saw them. J.J. Irwin owned that corner, and had a shack on the alley back of the 
corner. He said to me, 'Look after my wife and kids.' When I got down to his shack I turned around and 
saw that there was no time to lose. I told Mrs. Irwin to get ready to get out; she put her hat on, and got the 
little boy. It was my intention to take them east on Water Street, but when I got down there the whole 
place was ablaze, so I went to the shore at the foot of Cambie Street, where the C.P.R. were filling in and 
putting in piling. The C.P.R. had made a fill as far as Cambie Street. 

"There were some fellows there on a float. I ran out in the water and threw my coat on the float, and 
shouted, 'I've got a woman and a child,' but they did not wait. The only hope lay behind that C.P.R. fill, so 
I told Mrs. Irwin to take the other child, and I waded out in the water up to my waist. There were some 
Chinamen on a raft, and the tide swung the raft near me. I called to them to come in, but they could not or 
would not, so I went out and grabbed it. One of them took a swipe at me with a piece of two by four, but it 
was short and did not hit me, and I got my two charges on the Chinaman's raft. Mrs. Irwin said something 
about throwing the child in the water; she said she would rather let it drown than burn; the flames were 
coming right over. Then a gallant little tug came right in and took us in tow, and we were soon out at the 
Robert Ker. I am sorry I never knew what tug that was; they were a gallant lot. And," continued Mr. Cary 
with just a touch of irony, "I did not notice any of those Chinamen on the Robert Ker afterwards. Capt. 
Sproule owned the Robert Ker." (Note: the tug was the little Senator.) 

Spratt's Ark. 

"That night I slept in Spratt's Ark," (oilery) "and the wind blew through the floor boards; I was cold, very 
cold. Afterwards, of course, money was no use; it would not buy anything. I tried to get some blankets 
from those distributing relief necessities, but there was none for me; they were all wanted for the women 
and children, I suppose. Someone has told me a good story about old John Clough, the jailer. After the 
fire he came in bearing loads of blankets on his shoulders; no one asked where he had got them. He got 
them out in the woods somewhere; some hinted that the old boy had 'pinched' them, and hid them out in 
the woods, and when the fire came he went out and brought them back again for the use of the 
distressed. Poor old John was real human." 

Regina Hotel's escape. 

"The way the Regina Hotel on the southwest corner of Cambie and Cordova streets escaped was simply 
that it was out of the path of the fire. You see, the town went as far as Cambie Street only. The only 
building west of the Regina Hotel was the little shack the C.P.R. built; about the foot of Richards Street, 
where Kelly Douglas' is; where the first bank, the Bank of British Columbia, was afterwards. Scoullar's 
hardware store was not west of the Regina, but close to the Carter House; after the fire I got a couple of 
cups, tin cups, out of the debris of Scoullar's hardware store." 

The first soda water manufacturer. The city charter. 

"Faucet, the first manufacturer of soda water in Vancouver, was burned in the fire and his widow married 
J.J. Blake, the first city solicitor. I am pretty sure J.J. Blake drew up the first city charter; there was only 
J.J. Blake and Jack Boultbee who could do it." 

City police. 

"The necessity for four city police on the police force before the fire was that although when Vancouver 
was first incorporated it was a very small town, it was a very lively town. Water Street was built up with 
saloons. The people from the east, especially from Winnipeg, were pouring in in droves." (See photo of 
police force in front of "City Hall" in tent.) 

The famous Maple Tree. 

"About the old Maple Tree on Carrall Street. The sketch which you have of Granville in 1 882 shows the 
famous tree with a slanting trunk, while the other picture, the photo of Granville "Before the Fire" shows 
the trunk perpendicular; both are correct; it depends on the angle from which the tree was viewed. I will 
tell you what I recall of the lean on that tree trunk. 


"I used to stop at Tom Cyrs' Granville Hotel a few doors west of the Deighton Hotel, and had a front room, 
and also had a trained dog; he would do almost anything. The 'boys' used to throw paper up the old 
maple tree, and my dog would run up the tree and retrieve them. He had to make a little effort to get up, 
but 'he made it' — up the sloping trunk. It pleased the dog, and it amused the 'boys' on the corner. The old 
tree stood out in the street; that was how I could see it from my window. Of course, when they put up the 
monument they could not put it where the tree stood. Which reminds me about the deer." 

Wild deer on Water Street. 

"Up in the west end there was a buck and two does; they got so used to the men slashing that they 
became quite tame; they would come around, you could see them any day; everyone knew about them. 
Anyway, there was a boardwalk along Water Street, and my front room at Tom Cyrs' Granville Hotel was 
over that boardwalk; it looked out over Burrard Inlet. Many times at night I have heard those deer go by 
on that boardwalk, tap, tap, tap, as they walked along the boards. Harry Cole, he came up with Charles 
Doering, the early brewer, and was his first bartender; the darn fool, he went out and shot them, the 
whole three. They were up in the slashing around where the Roman Catholic Cathedral is, the Holy 
Rosary. I felt so sorry about it I felt like shooting him." 

Lanterns light Cordova Street. 

"Another little circumstance of those early days, hardly worth mentioning, but, right after the fire I was 
living in a little cottage, just a shack, on the rise of the hill in the alley between Hastings and Cordova 
Street; right back of Jonathan Miller's post office which was on Hastings Street between Hamilton and 
Homer. You know, there was no electric light, or gas, or anything of that sort, and at night, out of doors, 
everyone carried a lantern. We used to look down from our shack at the head of Cordova Street, and 
watch the lanterns bobbing, bobbing, bobbing in the darkness all up and down Cordova Street." 

Liquorice root. 

"I'll tell you how to find liquorice root. Go to an old maple tree well covered with moss, and you may see a 
small fern growing out of the moss. Scrape the moss away and follow the root. You will find a long root, 
about as thick as your little finger, and with knuckles on it every inch or so. Chew that root; you will find it 
tastes like liquorice. Sometimes it grows on rocks, but it is not so sweet as when growing on a maple tree. 
A mixture of liquorice root, Oregon grape, and barberry bark is the finest kind of medicine. That was what 
the Indians used. I don't suppose there are many living now who can tell you about liquorice root." 

The first trail in North Vancouver. Lonsdale Avenue. 

"Atkins, of Atkins and McCraney, put in the first trail from Burrard Inlet back to the hills in North 
Vancouver. It started just about where the ferry landing is today. The real estate men wanted a trail, so I 
cut a rough footpath up the hill, in and out among the stumps. Pete Larson did not go over to North 
Vancouver for years after the fire. After the fire," (1 886) "Peter Larson started in a tent, a big tent, then he 
ran the old Union Hotel on Abbott Street; he shipped sailors, on the sailing ships." 


Important: see "Big Trees" file. See "Geo. H. Dawson" file. 

The biggest tree recorded in British Columbia, in Victoria Park, North Vancouver. 

"Atkins, of Atkins and McCraney, put the first trail from Burrard Inlet back of the hills; it started just about 
where the ferry landing is today." (Lonsdale Avenue.) 

In a conversation at North Vancouver, 3 April 1 941 , Jack Mee, son of Charles Mee, pioneer, said "My 
father had the contract to remove that tree; he told me it stood right on Lonsdale Avenue, just above the 
Lower Keith Road, in Victoria Park, and that the roots of it almost filled Lonsdale Avenue from side to 
side; he burned out part of it after blowing as much as he could with stumping powder." 

Geo. H. Dawson who surveyed North Vancouver in 1896 and was afterwards surveyor-general. See 
photo, C.V.P. Tr. 1 7 of enormous tree, with Mr. Dawson standing in the middle of it; a photo presented by 
his sister, Miss Dawson, Victoria. 


Hastings Park race track. 

"The first race track and stables at Hastings Park was built by Atkins and McCraney. The track had a 
slope on it then; it has been levelled since." 

Tremont Hotel. 

"The Tremont Hotel," (see photo of "Tremont," a wooden shack four days after fire) "why, the Tremont 
was I think the first brick building in Vancouver." 

The "Princess Louise Tree." John McDougall. 

"The 'Princess Louise Tree' was right down there," (pointing) "at the foot of Columbia Street. John 
McDougall, Chinese McDougall, they called him after the Chinese Riots. He lives up at Quesnel, B.C. 
now, in a cabin." 

George Cary. 

"What brought me to Vancouver was this. Father was a fur trader in Ontario. When I was no more than 
fourteen I used to go with Father and put up at the fur camps in the inland lakes north of Toronto, Bull 
River, Burn River; I was clerking. The Hudson's Bay people controlled the fur market, but at that time, 
1867, there were still one or two independent fur dealers. The fur dealers used to stake a trapper just as 
others would stake a prospector, and it was usually my job to travel around and see that the Indians and 
trappers were working. If they did not work you not only lost the grub stake but the 'ground' as well. The 
custom was that if a man held the ground for one year without interference it was his ground. The custom, 
too, was that if you found a trap on your ground, the first time you would spring it and hang it on a tree, 
the second time you would hang it and drop it on the ground, and if you found it the third time, you took it 
away in your canoe. That was the unwritten law, and I have heard a judge state so in court. 

"I had a Chippewa Indian as a guide, but you bet each of us paddled our own canoe. We went away 
around the lakes from Lindsay, Ontario, crossed clean over up the headwaters of the Ottawa, were away 
six weeks or more, covered hundreds of miles paddling every day; we went once a year. George Skelton 
made me a birch bark canoe; it weighed just 27 pounds, paddles and all. Then Father wanted to make a 
doctor out of me, and I worked for a doctor for a while, then they thought architect, and I tried that, but 
could not stand the confinement. Finally in 1 871 , on the 9 th [blank] the great fire in Chicago took place; 
you could see the glare in Toronto, and on the 13 th I reached Chicago with fifty cents in my pocket, and 
hungry, got a meat pie for 100, and climbed seven storeys to a room; there were no elevators in those 
days. Chicago was burned for about four miles by two, and I helped to rebuild it. I was in Chicago in 1 871 
and 1872, then went to Mexico City, and in 1884 came up to Victoria, and over here in 1886. I was born in 
1 853. In the fall of 1 886 I went to Port Moody to meet my wife; she died a year ago. My eldest son has 
been lost somewhere; probably in the north; a splendid fellow; we have not heard of him for eleven years. 
My second son Norman is at Hazelton, an electrical engineer, and has three children." 

Sealing and West Coast Indians. 

"I once went out sealing, as hunter, on the sealing schooner CD. Rand, Capt. Westerland, a Swede, and 
went up the West Coast. We had two white boats, three men in a boat, hunter, boat puller and steersman. 
We went to Ucluelet to get the Indian hunters. When engaging Indians, you had to pay in advance, $30, I 
think; it was to get them to put their canoes on. You cannot get Indians to move until they are ready; so 
we were there two or three weeks. We got ten canoes, twenty-one Indians and two klootchs; one of the 
klootchs was 'oposchman,' otherwise, 'steersman for a whiteman.' The Ucluelets were at that time sort of 
semi-civilized; about the toughest tribe on the coast. Any missionary, or anything of that sort, they simply 
threw out, but while we were there a young missionary came along, some foreigner, Swede or 
Norwegian, and wanted to hold a meeting. So he came over to us and asked us to go with him; he was a 
little afraid to go by himself. The old Frenchman had a store, and let him have that to hold his meeting in. 
He took as his text the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception. An old klootch was sitting next to me; 
probably the 'boys' had given her a shot or two of booze; the missionary was explaining, when the old 
klootch shouted out, 'Halo, halo, halo, Mary halo tenas.' (No, no, no, very no, Mary drunk.)" 



"That was the year they put the kibosh on the sealers. The British had about four, and the United States 
about a dozen patrol boats driving us off. Before we went out I felt that the sealing treaty was going to be 
enforced, and I told the captain to keep clear of any smoke; we had a fast schooner, and it was the eighth 
of May before they caught us. The treaty came into force while we were out, and the patrol boats cruised 
up and down sending the sealers in after they had sealed down everything tight. Once or twice they 
nearly caught us; once in a rainstorm; they came right down on us, but before they could come aboard 
and serve us with the notice that the treaty was in force they had lost us in the rainstorm, and it was two 
or three weeks before they found us again; in the meantime, we kept on sealing. The patrol boats 
required that the schooners head for port immediately they were sealed up, and also had to notify any 
other sealing schooners they came across that the treaty was in force. One time a schooner came near 
us and we went on board, and after a drink or two, left again, when the captain called after us that he had 
a paper for us that he had forgotten; we shouted to him that we would get it the next time we saw him; it 
was a notice to quit sealing that some patrol boat had given him to deliver to any sealing schooner he 
came across, but we did not want the notice and we never expected to see him again. Finally they got us, 
and we went to Wrangel to report. I left the schooner there, but the captain stayed, and on his way back 
to the south the Indians took charge of the schooner, mutinied, and finally landed in jail in Vancouver. 
They were a tough lot." 

Duck pond on Howe Street 

"I don't like to make statements about which I am not positive, but it was somewhere up about the 
Badminton Hotel at the corner of Howe Street and Dunsmuir Street that I have seen ducks in the swale, 
wild ducks, oh, yes; it was a low marshy place." 

The above as narrated at the Imperial Hotel, and afterwards read to Mr. Cary and approved. 1932. JSM. 

Jerry's Cove, Jericho. Big trees. 

James McWhinney, 20 February 1932. "I think the way that Jericho came by its name was that in early 
days it was known as 'Jerry's Cove'; Jerry Rogers had a logging camp out on the Jericho golf course, at a 
little cove there which provided shelter from wind and sea." 

Note: there were a number of "coves" on the shores of Burrard Inlet, for instance, Skunk Cove (Caulfield), 
Jerry's Cove (Jericho), Snug Cove and Deep Cove (Bowen Island), Deep Cove (North Arm, Burrard Inlet), 
Cedar Cove on Powell Street, Fisherman's Cove near Point Atkinson. 

"I came to Moodyville in 1878," continued Mr. McWhinney, "via San Francisco, Portland, Victoria, New 
Westminster and Douglas Road; the stage line from New Westminster to Hastings was just a wagon with 
seats; three or four persons to a seat, and a couple of horses to draw it. 

"Hastings Mill, Moodyville Mill, Granville and Hastings were all kept going by loggers and sailors; it was all 
foreign lumber shipments in those days; no local trade. There were a good many ships in, six or seven of 
them at a time, bound for Australia, China, etc. 

"I was afterwards logging boss for the Moodyville Sawmill Co., Moodyville. I logged over here in 
Vancouver sometimes. There were two old Frenchmen over here making shingles; they shaved them — 
there were no shingle mills in the country then — and the same with cedar shakes. 

"Ben Wilson, whose early store was on the street at the corner of Abbott and Water streets, ran a store in 
Moodyville first. He was single then. Afterwards he ran the hotel at Hastings. He was married not very 
long before he died, and Mrs. Ben Wilson ran the store in Granville. Old Mr. Gold of the Gold House had 
run a store over in Moodyville before he moved to Granville. John Robertson had a saloon close by Mr. 
Gold's on the beach at Granville. George Black had the butcher shop in Gastown; his slaughter house 
was just east of Westminster Avenue on the south shore of False Creek. He went up to Hastings 
afterwards, and after that went out of business, and had a ranch up at Coquitlam." 


The Great Fire. 

Pioneers have never ceased to argue as to where the Great Fire started, a question which 47 years still 
leaves unsettled. [In] Early Vancouver, Matthews, Mr. Gallagher states, "a strong rising southwest wind." 

Theodore Bryant, Ladysmith, 13 April 1932, writes, "I was at Sumas on that memorable day. I was on my 
way home from church which was held in the old red schoolhouse, when about four o'clock a big cloud of 
dark smoke came over Sumas Mountain." Mrs. Ruth Morton, second wife of John Morton, said, 7 May 
1932, "We were living at Mission then, we saw the smoke in the sky." Rev. CM. Tate, Indian missionary 
at Chilliwack, relates that burned cinders dropped in Chilliwack. The three statements give a good idea of 
the direction of the wind, and its force. 

Early Vancouver. 

Geo. L. Allen, 29 March 1932. "The best way to describe Vancouver as I first saw it on 25 May 1886 is to 
describe it as a whole lot of fallen trees, cut down, tumbled over one another; there were no streets. Save 
for a few buildings around Water and Carrall Street — Water Street was of course planked between Carrall 
and Abbott streets, bridged as it were over the hollow of the shore; there was nothing else. There were a 
lot of shacks of rough lumber around. 

"Vancouver had been incorporated as a city about three weeks when I arrived, but was still a rather wild 
looking place. At that time Hastings and Granville streets were merely hewn out of the standing timber; 
the cleared timber from these streets was heaped up in large piles for future burning. The Great Fire 
started originally from one of these burning log heaps about where David Spencer's store stands." (Note: 
others say a little to the east, 100 yards or so.) 

The Great Fire of 1886. The first fire chief of Vancouver. 

"I came here from Emerson, Manitoba," continued Mr. Allan, now resident at 1465 West 15 th Avenue, and 
one of the earliest pioneer business men of Vancouver. "I was born in Perth, Ontario, 28 May 1857, so 
that I am now 74. I came via Emerson, Manitoba to Minneapolis, from there by train to Tacoma, where I 
boarded a small steamer for Victoria. I spent the Queen's Birthday in Victoria, and then came on to 
Gastown by an early sidewheel steamer piloted by Capt. John Irving, still living. I went to work for Sam 
Pedgriff and his wife, who had a general store — sold everything — on Powell Street between Carrall and 
Alexander streets; that was how it was that when the Great Fire came three weeks later I got Mrs. 
Pedgriff out of danger. 

"Mrs. Pedgriff was in her bath when the alarm of fire came that Sunday afternoon. I ran and knocked on 
the bathroom door with all my might, and told her she would have to get out, and get out quickly. Perhaps 
I should be more truthful if I said that Mrs. Pedgriff was in her little cabin at the back of the store, having 
her bath. She answered back that she was 'in her bath.' I told her it did not matter what she was in, she 
would have to get out, and quickly too, or she would be burned up. Then, and not until then, did she come 
out, and off she ran up Powell Street to get the children, who had gone to the Presbyterian Sunday 
school. That was the last I saw of Sam Pedgriff, the first fire chief of the city of Vancouver. 

"I was staying at the Burrard Hotel," (northeast corner, Hastings and Columbia) "at the time of the Fire. 
David Evans" (well-known tailor) "and I were in our room together when the alarm first came. We packed 
our clothes, etc., as quickly as possible. I helped Dave carry his trunk out and then went back for mine. 
Just then a wagon came driving by, and I asked the driver if he could take a trunk; he said, 'yes, but be — 
quick about it,' but before I could put my trunk on his wagon he was gone, and my trunk burned in the 
middle of the street. All I had left on my feet was a pair of slippers." 

The False Creek trail and bridge. 

"To save myself I went off down the trail which then ran diagonally across Hastings Street, and down to 
the edge of False Creek near the gas works now, and then ran off through the stumps to the False Creek 
bridge, but I had not gone far when I caught up with a woman with four children flying for their lives. After 
that, of course, I could not run for I had two babies in my arms; she took the other two. I told her I was 
heading for False Creek and that she would find me there, but believe it or not, I was glad from time to 


time to put my nose down in the dust of the trail for fresh air; rather what I thought was fresh air; anyway, 
it was fresher than what I was getting." 


"After I came back up again from False Creek I went over to where the Burrard Hotel had stood on the 
northeast corner of Hastings and Columbia streets. Across from the Burrard Hotel, on the southeast 
corner, was a sort of furniture factory; a high building for those days, and I presume it had given me some 
sort of shelter, a breath of fresh air to those in the path of the blast, but what I actually saw on my return 
was the bodies of six or seven persons, beside the building, in a sitting posture — I could see their watch 
chains dangling — but quite dead. They looked like persons, sitting motionless, leaning over. I believe they 
were afterwards identified by their watch chains. Oh, yes, there were six or seven of them; I could not 
stand that sight; it was too terrible. 

"Mrs. Strathie — she still survives — now Mrs. Emily Eldon, and active in the Pioneers Association, was 
living on Water Street, opposite what was afterwards Fred Allen's feed store." (The Old Methodist Hall.) 
"She was 'a brick of a woman.' She lives at 1 1 50 Alberni Street now. 

"That night Dave Evans and I slept together down by the Bridge Hotel; we divided between us a sack of 
oats for a pillow." 

The first boot and shoe store in Vancouver. 

"As I have said, the Pedgriffs had a store, but they knew very little about storekeeping; Mrs. Pedgriff was 
supposed to be boss of the store; I had had experience in a shoe store back east. So after the fire — the 
Pedgriffs had gone — I thought I would start my own. First I bought a lot on Hastings Street, the lot where 
the C.P.R. Telegraph now stands on the south side of Hastings between Richards and Homer, but I never 
built on it; two or three years later I sold it for $7,000 cash; that was just a speculation. But one day, when 
I was poking around Cordova Street, Robert Grant came along and I asked him if it was a store he was 
putting up. He replied, 'yes, it was stores.' Ed Cook, still living, was the contractor and architect, and the 
outcome of it was I soon purchased it from Robert Grant, paying down as a deposit $500, put in a stock of 
boots and shoes, the first real boot and shoe store in Vancouver; it was just around the corner from 
Carrall Street, on the north side of Cordova Street. You can see the sign over the sidewalk in that old 
photograph of Vancouver, Dominion Day, 1890, and the first street car coming down Cordova Street; the 
Dunn-Miller Block was across the street." 

City Hall. Mayor's Office. Mayor Maclean. Church services after fire. 

"The story of the church service held in my store the Sunday after the Great Fire, and while it was in 
process of erection — it may not have been the Sunday afterwards as Mr. Gallagher states — is quite 
correct; I was not there, but I heard about it. Mayor MacLean, who attended the service, afterwards had 
his office, at least his first office after the fire, and one which he used as the 'Mayor's Office,' in my 
building. There was an outside entrance to the upstairs, and both Mayor MacLean and John A. Evans, life 
insurance agent whose office is now across the street on Hastings Street from the Strand Hotel, were my 
tenants. Where Mayor MacLean's office was before the fire I do not recollect; perhaps Sunnyside Hotel, 
for his wife had not arrived at the time of the fire, and the city had been incorporated, or organized but a 
very few days." 

"Wreck" of Cutch on Water Street. 

"The pioneer gulf steamer Cutch, belonging to the Union Steamship Co., did attempt to reach Water 
Street," Mr. Allan smiled. "That's quite true. It was very foggy and she was trying to make the Union 
Steamship Dock at the foot of Carrall Street. She must have been coming at a pretty good clip — perhaps 
half speed — I don't know exactly, but she crashed her nose through the C.P.R. trestle some yards west of 
the Sunnyside Hotel. She might have hit the old Hotel itself. The C.P.R. trestle was pretty close up to the 
Sunnyside Hotel; the waves, at high tide, used to dash against the lower boards of the Sunnyside. I would 
not say that the old Cutch actually pushed her nose into Water Street, but it was not very far from it. She 
lay there part of the day — until the next tide — and then got off. I don't recall seeing Capt. Johnston after 
that." (See Capt. Nye.) 


The old City Wharf. 

"What I do recall about the old City Wharf is, after the fire, seeing the City Council holding their meetings 
in an open tent close beside the wharf at the foot of Carrall Street. There is a well-known photograph of 
the scene, the city wharf beside the tent, Gibson, of Gibson's Landing, on the wharf; no wharf to boast of, 
but a place to tie up to. It was a case of catch the tide, get in, and get out again before the tide went out. 
The old Senator took the mail once a day from there to Moodyville." 

The first bricks. 

"No, I do no recall a schooner load of bricks upsetting the first Union Steamship Co. wharf; perhaps they 
did," (see George Cary) "but what I do know is that the first bricks used in Vancouver came from Bowen 
Island where they were made for Joe Mannion of the Granville Hotel long before I came in 1 886. They 
were not used for buildings, they were experimenting with them, perhaps they used some for chimneys. I 
could show you the exact place where they were made; it was about two hundred feet from where the 
Union Steamship dock at Snug Cove, Bowen Island is, on the north side of the cove; Andy Linton knows 
all about them." 

The Cambie Street grounds— our first playground. Al Larwell. 

"Cambie Street grounds was undoubtedly our first playground, or park, as they call them now; certainly 
before Stanley Park; there was no Stanley Park then. What you have said about Al Larwell is perfectly 
true, but you have not said half enough. He was the first 'caretaker' at Cambie Street grounds; I don't 
think he was a paid official; sure he was not, but he was the first 'park superintendent,' and lived in a little 
shack on the northeast corner. He was an exceptionally fine good man; you could have gone much 
farther in what you have said about him and still not exaggerated. If he saw a boy smoking or chewing 
tobacco, or telling improper stories, he would say, 'Boys, you cannot do that in my presence.' He was 
strict, but they loved him all the same. Many a boy I have seen him send away from Cambie Street 
grounds for some infringement of his rules. Then again, he looked after our mitts and bats; he was 
without doubt the first playground caretaker, or park attendant, in Vancouver, and honorary at that. I think 
it would be a nice tribute to that splendid man if some memorial could be erected to him. Joe Reynolds 
will tell you all about Al Larwell. 

"I suppose, in the first place, I came to Vancouver for a bit of adventure. Years afterwards, in 1 898, I 
walked into Atlin — that was the last gold discovery — opened a general store there and remained two 
years. Mrs. Allan, who was Miss Maud Sharpe of Perth, Ontario, and I were married at Rat Portage, now 
Kenora, Ontario; she came to Vancouver in 1 900, before our marriage; our son is Lawson M. Allan." 

Geo. Allan died 24 December 1933. 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_088 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_089 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_090 


ltem# EarlyVan_v2_091 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_092 


"He was, it seems to me, one who, more preeminently than others, envisioned the growth of our city, our 
harbour, and especially our foreign trade, as it has actually taken place since." 

From recollections of W.H. Gallagher in Early Vancouver, 1931 . 

Notes of an inspiring pioneer speech. 

(presumed to have been delivered at a New Year's Even banquet — 31 December 1886 — at the Dougall 
House, corner Cordova and Abbott streets, Vancouver) 


His Worship Mayor M.A. MacLean 

First mayor of Vancouver 


These notes, after careful preservation for over forty-five years, were loaned for copying in February 
1932, to Major J. S. Matthews by his widow, Mrs. Margaret A. MacLean; they are on stationery headed 
"MAYOR'S OFFICE, VANCOUVER, B.C. ... 1886," (no crest). 

The original house, the first home of His Late Worship Mayor and Mrs. MacLean, built out of relief funds 
sent from all parts of the world to Vancouver at the time of the Great Fire, 1 886, still stands at the 
southwest corner of Cordova Street East and Dunlevy Avenue. His Worship lost all his possessions in the 
Great Fire. 



co c 









it I 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_093 


(On City of Vancouver stationery, no crest, probably the first letterheads printed, and before adoption of 
first civic crest.) 

Vancouver, B.C. ... 1886. 

(His Worship's own handwriting.) 


The British provinces of Manitoba, and the territories of Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and 
Athabasca comprise a vast area much of which possesses superior agricultural resources. 

Half a century is but a little while — in history; yet even a quarter of a century has wrought 
appalling results in the development of our Northwest. One hardly dares conjecture what marvels 
fifty years may work in the wilderness to the northwest of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Fifty 
years ago there was not a steam railway nor an electric telegraph in this world, today there are 
over 1 00,000 miles of railway on this continent alone, and more than half a million miles of 
telegraph. Fifty years ago there was not an ocean steamship afloat; now there are over ... 
plowing the waters of the different oceans of the world. Fifty years ago the population of the 
Dominion was ..., today our population is ... Fifty years ago the population of the United States 
was 13 millions; today their population is 60 millions. Fifty years ago there was not a friction 
match, a revolver, a breech loader, a percussion cap, or a sewing machine, etc., etc., etc. 

Ten years ago Dakota was for the most part howling desert; five or six years hence Dakota will 
have a million inhabitants. Two or three generations hence there will be millions of sturdy Anglo- 
Saxon people living west of Winnipeg and north of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In the newer 
northwest it is likely that the next important urban growth beyond Minneapolis and St. Paul will be 
at Winnipeg. 


Five hundred miles to the northwest of Winnipeg is the vast and fertile plains of the 
Saskatchewan Valley, and still further in the same direction are the great Athabasca and Peace 
Rivers, and the broad basin drained into the Great Slave Lake. The Peace River Valley is as far 
northwest of Winnipeg as Winnipeg is north west of Chicago. Someday there must be, in the 
nature of things, a new northwestern metropolis in the Saskatchewan region, and eventually there 
will be a city somewhere below the Great Slave Lake; and still the illimitable Northwest stretches 
on and on. From the Great Slave Lake to the Alaska boundary is nearly another thousand miles. 

Through this region passes the broad MacKenzie River on its journey of a thousand miles to the 
Arctic Ocean, and parallel with the McKenzie, some three or four hundred miles further westward 
is the upper stretch of the Yukon in our own British Columbia. Between these streams are the 
ranges of the Rocky Mountain system containing without a doubt the gold and silver of another 

Who can foretell the possibilities of the northwest portion of our own British American Empire; 
stretching as it does more than 3,000 miles from Winnipeg to Bering's Straits? 

These far north western regions, it is true, are not the most favoured and genial on the globe, but 
they have vast and material resources, and are capable of sustaining a large population; they 
await a prosperous future. Their high altitudes are tempered by the warm Pacific currents from 
China and Japan. The Saskatchewan Valley is in the same latitude as Central and Northern 
England; the Great Slave Lake is on about he parallel of Stockholm, Christiana, and St. 
Petersburg; Sitka is not much further north than Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Cincinnati was the metropolis of the North West of two generations ago; Chicago has become the 
centre of a greater north west lying beyond; Minneapolis and St. Paul are assuming large 
proportions at the head of the Mississippi Valley as the commercial centre of still another and 
more extended northwest. The process is to be repeated (in our own Northwest). 



(First page missing) 

The resources of British Columbia thus briefly enumerated, being of just the very kind in which so 
large a portion of the North West Territories are conspicuously deficient, will find a home market 
by means of the railway. Calgary, Regina, Qu'Appelle, Brandon, Winnipeg may before long draw 
their chief supplies of lumber and coal from the Pacific Slope, while fresh salmon and other fish 
from the Fraser River and the Gulf of Georgia, together with such fruits as cannot be grown to 
advantage in the prairie region will, in a few years, be articles of common consumption in the 
Territories and Manitoba. 

In return the prairie farmer will be able to furnish the hardy miner, the industrious lumberman, and 
the skillful fruit grower of British Columbia with the staff of life in highest perfection, together with 
pork, beef, hides and wool. 

Interprovincial intercourse will thus become highly advantageous, and should do much, not only 
to stimulate the development of the latent resources that Canada possesses in such great variety, 
but to increase the home and foreign trade of her merchants. 

JSM 1932 

Our first mayoress (Mrs. Malcolm A. MacLean). 

Memorandum of an evening spent with Mrs. M.A. MacLean, first mayoress of Vancouver, who, tomorrow, 
Easter Sunday, 27 March 1932, will be 84. She is a very gracious lady, mentally alert, and with a sweet 
smile, but feeble and not very well, but sufficiently active to participate in a quiet birthday party with a few 
relatives and friends, including her son (only), two unmarried daughters, Dr. Perry, a nephew, Mr. Tom 
Mclnnes, the historian, and his sister Miss Mclnnes. 

Mrs. MacLean was charmingly gowned in a mauve satin dress of mid-Victoria design which, purchased in 
Toronto about 1 882, lace V front and cuffs, its longish train supported by an ornamental rope slipped by a 
loop over her left wrist, and so well preserved as to appear almost a new dress. She made a delightful 
picture of old fashioned grace and graciousness. 

During short bits of conversation Mrs. MacLean said: 

"I was not in Vancouver at the time of my husband's election, nor at the time of the Great Fire; we came 
here in the fall of 1886, that is, the children and I, came by the C.P.R. to Port Moody and thence down the 
inlet by the old Princess Louise. There were but five passengers on the train. Mr. Melville Thomson of the 
Thomson Stationery Co. was one, and there was a woman who got off at Port Moody, I forget her name, 
her husband worked there. 

"The train trip to Vancouver was terrible; the worst of it was the trains did not connect, they were short of 
rolling stock or something. We had to go through the United States, and at some place, I forget where it 
was, we had to walk through a field of snow, one of the children clutching my dress, the other on one 
hand, and the third in my arms. At some place we stopped one night at a hotel, and the snow came into 
our room. There were just five of us on the train, that is, adult passengers; we got off at Port Moody and 
came down the inlet on the Princess Louise. 

"On my arrival, of course, Mr. MacLean was mayor, and we had such a busy time. Mr. A.W. Ross, M.P., 
my sister's husband, was away in Ottawa, so at first we went to live with her in some rooms over a store. 
Then we went to stop at the Gold House on Water Street; it was just finished and was so nice. I must try 
and think who were stopping there. Well, there was Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Ceperley," (Note: of Ross and 
Ceperley and the Ceperley Playgrounds, Stanley Park) "and, oh, I forget! After we built our own place on 
Dunlevy Avenue, but I have not seen the old home for years; they tell me it is almost falling down now." 
(See photograph taken in 1931.) 

"Those were the busiest times, so much entertaining, so many dances, so difficult to get help in the 
household. White help at any price was almost impossible, and the Chinamen were so independent; if 


there was an extra person in for dinner, or something the Chinaman did not like, they would pack up and 
walk out without saying a word. 

"The dances were mostly in hotels, or big rude halls built for the purpose; no one had a ball room; we 
went out to George Black's at Hastings a great deal, he had a hall for dancing there. 

"No, we did not go to Stanley Park for our picnics; there were no trails over there. When someone would 
say, 'What shall we do? Go for a drive or take a boat?' well, if we took a boat — one of those big boats — 
we went across the inlet in the direction of the Mission, or perhaps it would be to Seymour Creek that we 
would go, but it seems to me the waters of Burrard Inlet were smoother in those days." 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_094 


"Oh, yes! It would have made a great difference to Mr. MacLean if he had not lost his property in the 
Great Fire of 1 886; it might have been very much different for all of us. He had been to San Francisco to 
buy a lot of beautiful furnishings for our home; all were destroyed. Then he had two buildings, two store 
buildings, both were burned, and nothing was insured. The insurance papers were to have come by the 
boat the next morning. 

"I have had Mr. W.H. Gallagher's story which you have written" (Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931) "read 
to me, and enjoyed it. I think his story of the Great Fire is the best I have ever read, and as to the rest, I 
am not familiar with all of it; what I do know is correctly told. He was, as you say, without salary or 
expenses during both years of his term of office." 

Did he not receive anything? we asked. 

"Nothing," was Mrs. MacLean's positive answer. 

"You have heard of the Hobson-Taylor Missionary Party; they were the first which went this way to China. 
Well, they wrote asking if there was any sleeping room in Vancouver, and when they arrived the whole 
twelve of them came to our house, our small house; such a crowding. And the next morning I asked them 
what they would like to eat; I thought perhaps fish. They said they had not had any fish, and would like 
fish very much, so I gave them fish, fish, fish," and Mrs. MacLean laughed as heartily as her years permit. 

"The Rev. Mr. Thompson was our Presbyterian minister. 

"I was through the North West Rebellion of 1885; I saw it all," and by her countenance and intonation, it 
must have been a trying experience. "I was in the house by myself a good deal of the time. There was a 
looking glass in my bedroom, and as I lay in bed I saw lights in the looking glass. I thought I must be 
losing my senses. Each night I could see moving lights in the looking glass. Some gentlemen came for a 
meal, and I told them I had a pretty good meal for them this time, but that it might be the last if things kept 
on the way they were; I might not be in my right senses to make another. Then they explained to me 
about the lights that I had seen in the glass. They were the reflections, through the window into the 
looking glass, of the Indian signal fires; different shapes to communicate from one Indian band to another 
how matters were progressing during the day; semaphoring, as it were, to each other, and, their fires 
were all around." 

His Worship Mayor MacLean was born at Tiree, Scotland, went to live in several places in Ontario, then, 
with his wife, lived in Winnipeg, afterwards had a farm either at Qu'Appelle or near Wolseley, Manitoba 
(see Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931), participated in the North West Rebellion, and came on to 
Vancouver, put all his money into real estate and property, then came the fire which "cleaned him out"; 
one of his store buildings was so new when it was burned that it was without occupants. His house was 
built out of funds sent from distant points for the relief of Vancouver after the devastating fire six weeks 
after his election as mayor (June 1886). He died in Vancouver in 1895, being survived by his widow, Mrs. 
Margaret A. MacLean, an only son Cluny, now of MacLean's Ltd., Tea Importers of 1 50 Alexander Street, 
and two daughters, Miss Isabella at home and Miss Ethelwyne, now employed in the Dead Letter Office. 
Mother and daughters have resided for many years at 883 Broughton Street. Mrs. MacLean's 
grandmother was a granddaughter of the celebrated Scottish heroine Flora Macdonald. 

On Easter morning (Sunday, 27 March 1932) being Mrs. MacLean's 84 th birthday, a basket of beautiful 
Easter lilies was sent to her by His Worship Mayor Taylor with the compliments of the citizens of 

W.H. Gallagher: (see elsewhere) "MacLean, before he went to Winnipeg, had been a merchant in 
Oshawa, Ontario." 

Death of His Worship Ex-Mayor Malcolm Alexander MacLean. 

Conversation with his daughter, Miss MacLean, 10 February 1932. 

"It was Joe Fortes, the bartender at the Sunnyside Hotel, who helped to save Mrs. A.W. Ross, and her 
son Don, escape the fire on 13 June 1886." 


Note: merely another instance of that wonderful darky, "Old Joe," for whom all Vancouver held so deep 
an affection that they erected a monument to him at English Bay, where he spent over thirty years as, first 
unofficial, then official, beach master and life guard. 

"Father," (Mayor MacLean) "died in our home in the 600 block, Hornby Street, in 1895. Our house can be 
seen in the photograph of Vancouver taken from the Hotel Vancouver, back of the white house, and on 
Hornby Street." 

First Chief of Police. 

"His full name was John Malcolm Stewart." 

A.W. Ross, M.P. W.E. Graveley. C.P.R. terminus. 

Memo of conversation with W.E. Graveley, 1 1 April 1 932. 

"A.W. Ross was member of parliament for Lisgard, and a 'C.P.R.' member of parliament, and Van Home 
tipped him off that Port Moody would not be the terminus of the C.P.R. I sold hundreds of lots in Port 
Moody, but never once did I buy one myself. He" (A.W. Ross) "formed a syndicate to buy up all the land 
east of Carrall Street; Dr. Powell, Major Dupont, 1460 acres right in the centre of the city, from Burrard 
Inlet to away up in Cedar Cottage. A.W. Ross had no money, and when it came to making the first 
payment he had to apply to others. 

"Innes was my partner in Winnipeg as well as here. He" (A.W. Ross) "sold Innes — Innes, Richards and 
Ackroyd, an early firm, they were incorporated before the fire — he sold half of his one-fifth interest to 
Innes and myself. Then he again got into financial difficulties, so we had an assignment drawn up — I have 
it yet — and gave us one twentieth of the interest. We got up a pamphlet, the West Shore — we had an 
advertisement in that — drawing attention to the place; that was in 1884." 

(Note: see The Name of Vancouver and its appearance in the West Shore, published in Portland, 
Oregon, September 1884.) 

Early real estate. C.P.R. sells first lot. 

"I built a little real estate office on the northeast corner of Alexander and Carrall streets. Tom Dunn, the 
hardware man, and Hart, furniture, were down Hastings Road. When the C.P.R. came along they ordered 
the stores away. I was staying at the Sunnyside Hotel, and was friendly with all the C.P.R. officials. They 
asked me why I did not move too. L.A. Hamilton and others were staying at the Sunnyside, Hamilton was 
C.P.R. surveyor. I told them that I did not want to move and that I wanted to buy a lot. They wired Van 
Home, and he replied, All right,' so I bought the southeast corner of Carrall and Cordova Street, where 
the Oyster Bay Cafe is, and own it yet. 

"We moved my little shack up Carrall Street with seven teams of horses. The horses came down the 
street too fast, and bang went the telephone and telegraph wires; came tumbling down, and the horses 
brought up in a cut down tree or something. I got into all sorts of trouble. Joe Armstrong started 'after' me, 
so I saw J.J. Blake, and he asked how high the gable of my building was. I said, 'Fifteen feet.' 'Oh, well,' 
he replied, 'do nothing,' which I did. See Judge Howay's history book published twenty years ago, you will 
see there the first real estate advertisements; we pointed out the distances from London to Vancouver, 
from Vancouver to Yokohama, and the distances to other places." (See West Shore.) 

Early telephone. 

"Oh, yes, there must have been a telephone before the fire, or how could Joe Armstrong have got after 
me; besides my little shack was burned in the fire." 

First lot sold. First map of Vancouver. 

"I bought the first lot the C.P.R. sold in Vancouver. You see, the first map of Vancouver was made in 

1 885; it was all called Coal Harbour then. I have travelled the world over, and have yet to find a city which 

appeals to me so much, or a place of such hope and prospects." 


Tent on Carrall Street. Great Fire photo. 

"That tent, the white tent in the well-known photo of Vancouver the day after the fire is in the middle of 
Cordova Street. That stump, the nearest one, is still there, on the right of way of the C.P.R., east side, 
between, about halfway between Carrall and Cordova Street, a few feet north of the lane. It stood exactly 
as it was in the photo until last year, then someone cut the top off for fire wood, but the lower part is still 
there, the only stump left on the peninsula, as far as I know. I own the lot the second stump is on. I paid 
$700 for the first lot; at first my taxes were $1 1 .90; now they are $800." 

The Great Fire of 1886. Graveley and Spinks. 

"When the fire took place we were up Mount Pleasant. I said, 'It looks to me that the place is on fire.' We 
came down the hill, crossed the old wooden bridge over False Creek, and came on down the old trail 
which slanted from Carrall Street across Hastings and struck Main Street about where the gas works is. 
We met a horse and wagon coming along furiously. It was loaded with household furniture and 
mattresses. We went on, and got as far as my office, got out one or two books, ledger, cash book and so 
on, then we cleared out pretty quick, and then, strange thing I so well remember, I turned the key in the 
lock. I tried to get my trunk, etc., out of the Sunnyside, but the Sunnyside went up like a puff. Then I took 
a nice metal sign painted in black and gold, 'Graveley and Spinks,' and slipped it under my arm; I will tell 
you more about that later. 

"As we passed the Burrard Hotel, and the three-storey building opposite," (north east corner of Hastings 
and trail) "I passed Balfour the proprietor; he was an alderman. He was up to his neck trying to get a lot of 
children out of danger and said, 'Give me a hand with these children.' I took one child up on my shoulders 
and started off for False Creek." (See note below.) "When I came back there were three or four dead 
bodies under the Burrard Hotel; they had evidently crawled under the hotel to save themselves, and had 
been burned to death. 

"The next day a man came to me and said, 'I have some papers belonging to you.' I said, 'Where did you 
get them,' and he replied, 'On the beach.' They were a bundle of deeds, agreements of sale, tied closely 
together, and had been in my trunk in the Sunnyside Hotel, and when that burned they must have been 
sucked out in the fierce air blast caused by the fire. I have them yet, all stained with mud, and including 
the deed to the first lot sold by the C.P.R." 

The real estate sign. 

"As we were escaping I put the sign down behind a stump and when I came back it was gone. I thought it 
queer that anyone should want a sign with my name on it; not a sort of thing other people want. I looked 
at the ground, and there was my sign all right, but it had melted; that will give you an idea of the heat of 
the fire." 

His Worship Mayor Maclean. The first council. 

"M.A. MacLean was a broad visioned man, generous to a fault, and a man of whom Vancouver should be 
proud to have had for its first mayor. Well, judge for yourself; he was victorious over Alexander in the 
election, and Alexander was a well-known and influential man. Yes, I do think that our first aldermen were 
men of great heart and understanding, and," (significantly) "better than some we have had since." 

Note above: two of these were Alderman Balfour's children; the other two those of his wife's mother (Mrs. 
Martin who died 1932.) Alderman Balfour's widow still lives, 1932. 

Note: the leading remarks of Mr. Graveley serve to illustrate the controversy "East End versus West End"; 
see W.F. Findlay, who states that the great question was "which way will the city grow?" 

The first city council. 

Ex-Alderman Harry Hemlow, so far as is known one of the two surviving members of the first City Council, 
the other being ex-Alderman L.A. Hamilton, in Toronto. Mr. Hemlow resides at the Martinique Hotel, 
Granville Street, has been there several years, is very deaf, in poor health, financially depressed, 
complains of poor memory. He died a month after this interview, in March 1 932. 


"I came to Vancouver in the spring of 1 886 — before the fire — at the time of the fire I was running the 
Sunnyside," (hotel) "John Mclnnes had it before I did; the old registers were burned in the fire. The old 
ones would have shown a wonderful list of famous names for it was the 'swell' place of Granville. It may 
be that the Marquis of Lome and the Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter, did stay there; I don't 
recall. During my incumbency many well-known people were guests at the Sunnyside. 

"My permanent guests included Father Fay," (Roman Catholic) "Father Fiennes-Clinton," (Anglican) "Rev. 
Mr. Thompson," (Presbyterian) "Alderman L.A. Hamilton, Mr. and Mrs. A.G. Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. A.W. 
Ross, M.P., and brother-in-law to Mayor M.A. MacLean, Mayor and Mrs. MacLean, Harry Abbott, C.P.R. 
superintendent, CD. Rand, E.E. Rand, Mr. Terlew, private secretary to Mr. Abbott, and a whole lot more. 
I had a lot of photos of early Granville, but they were all burned in the fire when I was living on Hornby 
Street — such a pity. 

"I have read your story," (Mr. W.H. Gallagher's in Early Vancouver, 1931 issue, dated 30 December 1931) 
"and it seems all right to me; what a remarkable memory he has. There is one thing I am uncertain about. 
Did the first meeting of the first City Council take place in the old Court House? I thought it was in Ed 
Blair's hall. Ed Blair's hall was about six doors west of the Deighton Hotel; Johnson was running the 
Deighton at the time of the fire, and Ed Blair's hall was at the back of a saloon on Water Street; a biggish 
hall where we used to have dances. The Court House was a mere bit of a place. 

"I was away at Portland at the time the well-known photograph of the 'City Hall' in a tent was taken; that is 
why I do not appear; I was the only one absent. 

"The reason Mayor MacLean had his office" (see notice in newspaper, and Early Vancouver, 1931) "on 
Abbott Street in 1887 was that he was in the real estate business, and had his office there. I don't know 
where we went after we left the tent, but Col. Powell, Major Dupont, and Mr. Oppenheimer gave the lots 
to the city to build the City Hall on Powell Street. I put that through the Council, and when the city moved 
to the Market Hall, the old City Hall afterwards on Main Street — a man named Dawson from England, and 
another were the architects of the Market Hall — their heirs sued the city, but the city beat them. I was 
asked to give evidence for the defence at the trial, but when I told the city solicitor that it was a 'dirty deal,' 
he said to me, 'Well, in that case I don't suppose you want to appear for us?' It seems to me the deed of 
gift read, 'for city purposes'; it was always intended it should be 'for a city hall.'" 

Mr. Hemlow was quite feeble, but I ventured to remark, Why did you become an alderman for the first 
council? "For a bit of a lark," was his answer. He died a month later, March 1 932. 

Note: Ferguson Point, Stanley Park, is named after the A.G. Ferguson mentioned above; they were close 
relatives of the Ceperleys of Ceperley Playgrounds, Second Beach, and rumour is that it was really Mr. 
and Mrs. Ferguson's money which the Ceperleys afterwards donated to create the playground. 

The first city treasurer and tax collector, G.F. Baldwin. 

William F. Findlay, 12 April 1932. 

The late Mr. Findlay, together with his wife, were fatally injured four days later in a motor car accident on 
the Granville Street bridge. Mr. Findlay arrived Vancouver 22 October 1887; both were pioneers; their 
remains were cremated. The funeral was asserted to be the largest private funeral ever held in 
Vancouver. The author, formerly a yachting companion of both, ceased to count after 500 had passed the 
remains lying in state; many hundreds did not enter the chapel. 

"Did I ever tell you how G.F. Baldwin, our first city treasurer, tax collector and everything else, came to get 
the position. Well, on the afternoon of 4 April 1886, he was reporting for the Victoria Colonist covering the 
proceedings of the Legislature in the Press Gallery, and that afternoon an act incorporating Vancouver 
into a brand new city was passed, creating a city, of course, without a council, officials, finances, or 
anything else. 

"On going back to the Colonist office, he first wrote up the Legislative proceedings — they had reportorial 
staff of three only at that time — then wrote out his resignation, and took the boat to Vancouver. Just who 


he approached I do not know, perhaps M.A. MacLean, one of the candidates, perhaps both; anyway, he 
was appointed and held the position for many years." (Until 1920, i.e. 35 years.) 

Our early water works. Mayor David Oppenheimer. 

"I remember listening, as a boy, to a very interesting conversation, about 1888, between my uncle Lewis 
Carter of the Carter House and Mayor Oppenheimer. A by-law was being submitted to the people for 
$80,000 for the proposed water system. Eighty thousand dollars was a lot of money for a small population 
to assume, and Mayor Oppenheimer took it upon himself to personally interview the rate-payers. He 
came to the Carter House, and I stood by and listened to the conversation which followed. 

"My uncle said that he admitted it would be advisable to have the water, but so far as he himself was 
concerned, he was independent, he had his own well, and the water had served him for several years. 'I 
am not an engineer,' he went on, 'but I do know something about it. How are you going to get the pipe 
across the Narrows?' 

"'Flexible joints, float it on logs, and then sink it,' answered Mayor Oppenheimer." (They did not adopt this 
method, but dragged it. See Phillip Oben who confirms this.) 

"'Do you think it can be done?' said Uncle. 'Won't it cost too much?' Then followed an instance of Mayor 
Oppenheimer's determination and remarkable farsightedness. 'I know it,' he asserted, and then with still 
further assurance added, 'I know it, and without much cost too.' 

"Uncle interjected, 'The pipe will be on the bottom; supposing some vessel out of its course strikes it?' 

"That chance is one in one hundred thousand,' retorted Mayor Oppenheimer, 'and we shall have to take 
a chance on that.' Then he went on, 'Of course, the day will come, and that day will be within fifty years, 
when they will bring the water underneath the Narrows in a tunnel. The population will be so large that 
conditions will warrant it.' 

"'Well, you may be right, at that,' I heard Uncle Carter reply." 

Note: the conversation was prompted by the starting of the tunnel, not yet, February 1933, fully completed 
and ready for opening and use — less than 45 years, not even 50 as prophesied. 


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Clearing away the forest. The Great Fire. 

"To use the old term 'boulder pin clearing' was the system adopted for clearing, for sweeping down, the 
forest. Anything up to a foot, or eighteen inches, was cut half through at the front; anything from five or six 
inches in diameter up to a foot or eighteen inches diameter would be cut half through, and then a big one, 
a big tree, let down on top; and the 'boys' were pretty clever; they could put a falling tree almost 
anywhere, almost drive a stake with it. You can imagine what it would be like if you went into Stanley 
Park, and Stanley Park in its densest part is not dense; too many trees were taken out by loggers; and 
then fell ten or twenty acres with one sweep. 

"Now add to this a hot summer or spring, and after a couple of months drying, a fire got into it, and you 
will get some sort of an idea of what sort of a fire there was here on 1 3 June 1 886." 

Hotel Vancouver. East End versus West End. 

"That's quite true; the everlasting argument was, 'Which way would the city grow?' For instance, in the fall 
of 1886, Uncle Carter undertook to buy the lot on which the Templeton Block stands at the northeast 
corner of Hastings and Carrall streets. I think the price was $1 ,250, and he intended to buy, but overnight 
the price jumped $200. 

"Then again when the Hotel Vancouver was built in the exact location it now occupies, there were 
expressions of much astonishment such as, 'Well, why are they building it away up there on the hill?' 
Much emphasis was put on the word away." 

Clearing the forest debris away. 

"At the time of the fire there was a huge pile of debris back of William Dicks Limited, present store on the 
northeast corner of Hastings and Homer Street; it straddled the lane below it. They were using a tree 
which had been toppled as a gin pole — Uncle Carter estimated its height at 80 feet — and with the 
assistance of a 'donkey' engine were piling the roots and logs into a towering heap. That was where 
Gladwin was working when the fire started, and, Sunday, too." 

Note: Gladwin, since dead, is asserted by Mr. Findlay to have been the man who actually set fire to the 
pile, having received orders to that effect. J.S.M. 

The smallpox scare. The first mastoid operation. 

"Dr. Langis is right about the smallpox scare. I remember the excitement which old Captain Rudlin of the 
Canadian Pacific Navigation Company's steamer Charmer created when he tried to land a smallpox case 
at the C.P.R. Dock. There was quite a fuss. The police authorities would not let him tie up, nor land at the 
C.P.R. Dock, nor the Hastings Mill. He attempted to tie up at the C.P.R. Dock without success, then 
moved to the Hastings Mill and tried to tie up there, and I vividly recall the dash through town of the civic 
authorities; they commandeered the Carter House bus, and swore in special constables, and dashed off 
through the town to prevent his landing at the Hastings Mill. Then he cast anchor in the stream, and finally 
landed at Hastings. I think the matter was referred to in the pulpits the next day as an 'attempted outrage.' 

"Dr. Langis performed the first mastoid operation in Vancouver. He was without proper instruments, and 
so they say, went down to Tom Dunn's hardware store, purchased a couple of the best chisels, tested 
them for quality, started in, and finished a successful operation." (See if Dr. Langis mentions this in Early 
Vancouver, Matthews, 1931.) 


"My Uncle, Lewis Carter, crossed the continent five times, the first time in 1 872. He was, for three weeks, 
on the survey line, the surveying of the route, of the C.P.R. from Port Moody to Vancouver. He had 
charge of the C.P.R. car building shops at Yale for two and one half years; they built freight cars there, 
and some of the first turntables. In the last years of the shops there they were turning out six freight cars, 
mostly box cars, per day, and in this connection I will tell you something to illuminate your story about the 
medicine ditches." (See Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931 .) 

Harrison Hot Springs. Indian medicine ditches. 

"Uncle told me, and I also heard it from one of the Agassiz boys of Agassiz, that in the early days the 
Indians and the prospectors did a lot of the same sort of thing at what is now Harrison Hot Springs; he 


said he did it himself lots of times. He and his partner carried two barrels of flour, six bags to the barrel, 
into the Cariboo, going in via Fraser River, Harrison River, Harrison Lake, and the trail; their plan was to 
carry two bags as far as they could see, and the walk back rested them for the next effort. It was while on 
these journeys that they did what I will tell you about. 

"The Harrison Hot Springs was, at that time, just two little streams out of the mountain running down into 
Harrison Lake; one of these, which was a sulphur stream, had considerable volume; the smaller stream 
was potash. Even in those days the value of a sulphur stream to relieve rheumatism and similar ailments 
was well known. Both Indians and prospectors took the potash waters internally in the firm belief that they 
were of much value in stomach and kidney troubles. In those days, of course, there was no hotel or 
bathhouse at the springs, but necessity provided impromptu bathtubs for those wishing to take the 'cure.' 

"The method was to draw up the canoe close alongside the sulphur spring, unload its contents, beach it in 
the soft mud, weight it down with a couple of good sized boulders — there was plenty around — and then 
dip the canoe full of hot water. A canoe of water would be of considerable weight, and a canoe means 
life, or death, so that their owners were careful of them, but the soft mud supported the outside. 

"The water is cooler now, it used to be 165 F, now it is about 160 F; you used to be able to cook an egg in 
about five minutes. Then, after filling the canoe with hot sulphur water, they dipped in a little lake water to 
bring it down to 1 52 F or so, and after spreading a blanket, or tarpaulin if they possessed one, over the 
top of the canoe, the bather got inside and remained there 20 minutes or half an hour, and as the water 
cooled the partner would add a little more hot water. This went on winter and summer; the springs were 
easily marked by the clouds of steam arising from the hot water, and which could be seen for miles. In the 
spring months, when the traffic was heaviest, it was sometimes necessary to get in an advantageous 
position, so many were taking the treatment of just having a hot bath, before the canoe could be got close 

William Hailstone, Sam Brighouse. The West End of Vancouver. 

"I understand that William Hailstone parted with his half interest, or what ever interest he had with Sam 
Brighouse for a twenty dollar gold piece, several sacks of flour worth about five dollars, and a cayuse with 
a string halt, worth perhaps $25; you could buy lots from them for $1 or $1 5. Hailstone logged off the 
West End, or perhaps rather more correctly, sold some logs off his place. He got tired of the game, and 
'pulled out.'" 

Vancouver roads in 1887. 

"My first 'impression' of Vancouver came in the form of a big bump on the back of my head. I arrived by 
train, 22 October 1887, and took Uncle's bus to the Carter House; an open 'express' conveyance with 
seat longways on both sides, a covering supporting with iron stanchions, and canvas flaps for the sides to 
let down in rainy weather, and drawn by two horses. The Vancouver roads were very poor for somewhere 
on our way up the incline to Cordova Street or down to Water Street, the bus gave a big bump, I bounced 
out of my seat, my head banged the stanchion of the covering, and left a big bump on the back." 

The above is an uncorrected memo of a conversation at Mr. Findlay's home one evening; no opportunity 
offered to have it corrected before his death four days later. JSM. 


Copy by 
7f.J,)!oore Photo 

'remo-M hoatelry.ibb ifotar si.rSplaced earliar f rt 5S J 

irTcreat fire 1936 two weeke after opening, first three etorv tuild- 
ne in VanoT. Damoliehed 1921-2. gartered ?olia* enforcing .u»p*n- 
«ian city charter, Chinese Riote 1B87. On verandah.Kre (Ktf£«ret J 
Carter 3rd from left: C.R.Ta££art,4th Chac I Doering.Sth Lewis Carter 
owner 7th John L.Carter .brother . Copyright W.F.Findlay ,^44 K Uth St 

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The first Christmas after Vancouver became a city. 

The Daily Province 


December 21 st 1912 

Loaned by Mrs. Emily Eldon, 1932. 

OLD TIMERS, asked about the first Christmas in Vancouver after its incorporation, which was the 
first Christmas after 'the' fire, recalled interesting events of that day with mingled sadness and 
mirth. There was mirth over how they had enjoyed themselves then in spite of the circumstances, 
and there was grief when there came thoughts of those who have since passed away. A few 
chats were had with old timers. While, as old timers will, they wandered occasionally from that 
particular day, what they have to say contains much of interest. 

Vancouver was informally christened in 1885 (a) and incorporated as a city in 1886. The first 
election for the city was held that year, and the townsite was fire-swept a month or so after — on 
June 13 th . The next election was held on December 13 th , 12 days before Christmas. 

Back twenty-six years. 

"The first Christmas in properly and legally incorporated Vancouver?" remarked Mrs. George 
Eldon, "Well, it was not much of a Christmas to tell the truth. There have been better Christmas 
celebrations, as far as jollity went, in old Gastown and Granville townsite days. But we enjoyed 
ourselves that Christmas, too, even if, in visiting neighbours one had to crawl over piles of ashes, 
in traversing which you could not tell what sad relic you might lay bare, (b) Still, there was a spirit 
of camaraderie in the air, and it is safe to say that no one in tent or shack or newly built home 
went without a greeting, or that anyone went without a Christmas dinner. 

"After all, that spirit of neighbourliness that prevailed is something not to be forgotten, and 
certainly not to be ashamed of," added Mrs. Eldon reminiscently. "Most of us who were here were 
bound together by the common terror we had experienced on that recent day in June, and the 
newcomers were made welcome because we all remembered that they had come from places 
which had rushed help to us as fast as trains or steamboats could get things here. 

"But as for that Christmas Day, December 25 th 1 886. Let me see. There were, I think, three 
Protestant and one Roman Catholic place of worship. I think they all had services on Christmas 
morning, but, bless you, when the services were over pastors and priest and all members of all 
denominations shook hands and wished each other a Merry Christmas. If there was tent or shack 
where anyone thought there lacked Christmas cheer there was no question as to what church the 
occupants belonged. They were visited, and if the shack was bare they were genially forced to 
come somewhere where good cheer prevailed." 

Real Christmas cheer prevailed. 

"I believe that a real downright honest, hearty, true Christmas cheer prevailed in Vancouver that 
day as keen and pure a sense as it ever prevailed anywhere since the shepherds kept their 
weary but hope-inspired watch. I know, too, that Vancouver at the time had the sympathy of New 
Westminster, Victoria and Moodyville, and that hampers which came were satisfying, as were 
also the messages of good will that accompanied them were heart warming. There was open 
house at New Westminster and Moodyville for Vancouverites that day, and many took advantage 
of the kindly hospitality. Moodyville, the town on the spit, was then, as you know, some 
considerable place, and it is pleasing to know that it is coming back into its own. 

"In those days, we might not have liked to see so much good lumber leaving there and also from 
the Hastings Mill for South America and other points, when it was so much needed for home- 
building here, but that was bringing money into the province, and just then money was badly 
needed. Optimism was prevalent here, then, too, and on that Christmas day men who were 
comparatively rich on June 12 th , and had been fire-swept into pauperism on the thirteenth of that 
month, and while poorly domiciled in tent or shack had that spirit of hope which has made 
Vancouver what it is today." 


Asked as to her activities on that day, Mrs. Eldon said, "Oh, I enjoyed that day with the rest of the 
folks, but while you are welcome to make use of my reminiscences, I do not care to figure 
personally. To tell the truth, even in the midst of Christmas jollity and genuine neighbourliness I 
could not quite forget the horrors of that thirteenth day of June." 

(a) Earliest known mention of "Vancouver" is September 1884. 

(b) Human remains of those who burned to death. 


Ex-Chief of Police John McLaren. 

When asked about Christmas of 1886 in Vancouver, ex-Chief of Police John McLaren said, 
"Gosh hemlock, lad. Do not ask me to give all the details of that day. I was a patrolman then. The 
late J.M. Stewart was chief, and my associate on the force was ex-sergeant V.W. Heywood. Did 
we have a busy day? Well, yes, we did, but it was not in the matter of making arrests. The late 
M.A. MacLean was mayor then, and he thought the duty of the police force on that day was to 
ensure that everyone had his share of happiness rather than bother about making arrests. It was 
close to our duty that day to find anyone who was moping alone in a shack or tent, and see that 
he got out and enjoyed himself. 

"On that day in Vancouver crimes were not even thought of, much less committed. We did not 
have much of a jail to put anyone in anyway, and no one would have been cruel enough to chain 
a man up to a stump just because he had had a drink or two. There was a bit of a jail it is true, 
about where the old City Hall on Powell Street is now, but what few prisoners were in it had a 
good time under the supervision of Mr. John Clough. Every old timer remembers John, though he 
might not know who you were speaking of if you said Mister. 

"The prisoners in that jail, I may mention, had no trouble about keeping warm if blankets counted 
for anything. There was something in the way of a miracle connected with those blankets. At the 
time of the fire John Clough was sojourning in the jail on account of having been generous in 
treating an Indian friend to firewater. When the fire gained uncontrollable headway the jail was 
forgotten, and John did not propose to stay there and be burned up, so he let the other prisoners 
out, and took French leave, (c) 

"John went out in the woods, and stayed there until a day or so after the fire was all over, and 
then he came back and reported. John had only one arm, but when he reported he had a pile of 
blankets with him that would have kept the Turkish army from getting cold feet. They came in 
mighty handy, not only for prisoners, but for others. When asked how he came to obtain, much 
less carry, so many blankets, John's laconic response was, 'Oh, I'm an old prospector,' and we 
let it go at that. 

"There were only three hotels worthy of a name in the city then. They were all crowded, but there 
was no quarrelling or fighting on that Christmas day. It was a case of, 'Drink hearty, but behave 
yourselves, and let the spirit of the day prevail and forget your troubles.' Vancouver has had 
many happy Christmas days since then, but none more genuinely jolly than that one." 

(c) Said to have been chained to stakes. 



"I remember the first Christmas in Vancouver well enough," remarked Assessment Commissioner 
Paynter, "but I was very much of a cheechako at the time, and perhaps should not speak 
authoritatively. As a matter of fact I had just arrived. I remember that there was no club here, and 
that the general meeting place was at a very popular one on Carrall Street. I know this, however, 
that on Christmas morning, my family and myself attended service at St. James' church, but was 
in an upstairs room on Alexander Street, the lower floor of which was used as business premises 
of Keefer Bros." (d) 

(d) Probably Keefer Hall. 


One of the oldest men on the city hall staff could tell many interesting stories about those happy 
go lucky times, but he, having been a newspaper man in his earlier days is naturally very modest 
about getting into print. He does say, however, that the first Christmas Day celebration in 
Vancouver after incorporation was more or less a continuation of the second election ever held in 

The first election was held in May of 1886, and the second on December 13 th . In that second 
election for the mayoralty the late M.A. MacLean defeated Thos. Dunn, who is now in Prince 
Rupert, by 154 to 122. The elected aldermen were Sam Brighouse, Dr. J.M. LeFevre, Jos. 
Humphries, Joseph Mannion, R.H. Alexander, Robert Clark, Edwin Saunders, G.H. Lock, David 
Oppenheimer and Isaac Oppenheimer. 

In those days everyone knew everyone else, and on Christmas Day all the candidates met to 
drown sorrow or to celebrate victory. The Bodega Hotel on Carrall Street, run by Sandy 
MacPherson, of genial memory, was the headquarters, for be it known, there were no clubs in 
Vancouver in those days, and the Hotel Vancouver, later a general meeting place, was then only 
a prospect. 


Ex-Alderman John McDowell says that his clearest recollection of the Christmas Day of 1886 was 
the fact that on that day the first collection for a hospital in Vancouver was taken up. The present 
chief of the fire brigade, Mr. Carlisle, and himself were the originators of it, and all the other 
subscribers were teamsters. Speaking of that first Christmas reminded Mr. McDowell of 
Vancouver's first municipal election held in May of that year. He had only arrived in Vancouver a 
short time before, and he was met on the street by Mr. Sam Greer, who asked him to come over 
and vote for Mr. MacLean for mayor. "What shall I vote on?" queried Mr. McDowell, referring to 
his lack of property qualification. 

"Oh, that will be all right," said Mr. Greer, "come with me." 

Mr. McDowell accompanied Mr. Greer to Pat Carey's hotel. The hotel was more than full at the 
time, but there were tents in a vacant lot alongside. 

"Here's a man wants a room," said Mr. Greer. 

"All right, come along," said Pat, and he led the two out to a tent. "There's your room, No. 5," said 

"Come along and vote," said Mr. Greer, "you are registered now." 

(e) See W.H. Gallagher, Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931 for method of voting and registration. 


"No," said Col. Worsnop, "I was not here on Vancouver's first civic Christmas, having arrived just 
three months afterwards, in March 1887. This, however, is the twenty-sixth Christmas I have 
spent in this city — some white, some wet, some mild as spring. That of 1887 was so mild that two 
or three four-oared crews of the old Vancouver Boating club went out rowing on the inlet. 

"I well remember the 1 887 festival. I was then on the News-Advertiser, and a jolly crowd formed 
the staff. Mr. Carter-Cotton was editor-in-chief, and some of the other members were the late 
M.H. Hirshberg, Cecil Freeman, now in England, Jack Wilson, who furnished the power — his 
strong arm — for driving the old fashioned hand press, (he died in South Africa), Jim Wright, 
foreman, best of fellows, and 'Fatty' Waters, a typical old typo, who periodically threw down his 
stick and went out prospecting. Other members of the 'chapel' came and went when the spirit 
moved them. That old operator, Time, has ticked out '30' for most of them. This was long before 
the days of the linotype. 

"Well, on Christmas Day, 1887, the chief and I started for a walk across False Creek (there was 
no Mount Pleasant or Fairview then). The day was a brilliant one. There had been quite a fall of 


snow the night before, and the sun shone brightly, making the forest, which came very close to 
the embryonic city in those days, glitter with its white covering." 


"Making our way across the Westminster Ave. bridge we followed the trail along the bank of False 
Creek until Leamy and Kyle's mill was reached. This, the third mill in Vancouver, and the first 
south of the creek, stood near where the end of the magnificent new Connaught Bridge is now. 
Here we struck a skid road, and started to climb up the hill, through dark stretches of forest and 
small clearings, until after a couple of hours tramp we ran into a clearing where lots of new 
stakes, planted by surveyors formed a second growth almost as thick as the original. 

"To our amazement we found written on one of the stakes, 'Twenty-Second Avenue,' and then we 
realized what a distance we had come. Not wishing to retrace our steps on the skid road, we 
made our way easterly along the rough trails, and blazed lines until after some hours hard work 
we emerged on the Westminster Road, wet from head to foot. As we pushed through the bush 
the newly fallen snow would drop in miniature avalanches down our backs, and from time to time, 
when walking along, some fallen monarch of the forest, we would slip off into the deep snow. You 
can imagine how overjoyed we were to reach the road, and how gladly we turned our faces 
towards home and dinner. Such a tramp, however, had its reward in the keenest of appetites, and 
a willing capacity to enjoy the festive turkey and other seasonable delicacies. 

"In spite of many drawbacks incidental to a new place, we old-timers used to enjoy ourselves in 
those days." 



The Daily Province 

December 21 st 1912 

(This story, and the preceding one, was probably written by Mr. Carter-Cotton, son of the Hon. F.L. 
Carter-Cotton, and formerly a reporter on his father's daily, the News-Advertiser. 

"What kind of a Christmas did they have in Vancouver thirty-five years ago? How did you spend 
your holiday?" These questions were asked the other day by the Province of an old-timer — one of 
the bright old men whose memories of early events in this city has not even been dimmed. 

"What kind of a story would you like?" queried back the old-timer. "How would you like a bear 
story — for there were plenty of the black fellows then in the woods where West End apartment 
houses now stand? Or I might tell you how Captain W.R. Soule arrested Tompkins Brew, how the 
Victoria special constables turned white, or — ." 

"But has that anything to do with Christmas?" the interviewer asked. 

"No," was the quick reply, "but those incidents come into my mind when I think of Christmas. 
There are many people in Vancouver today who can remember the city as it was twenty-five 
years ago; but when it comes to pushing back the hands of time ten years more it is almost like 
communicating with another generation. The ten years preceding 1887 you might regard as a 
period of slumber or stagnation. The people were looking forward during the earlier years to the 
settlement of the railway terminal question — just as Sir Charles Tupper pointed out in an 
admirable article last Saturday. Everything was much undecided, and there was a very strong pull 
in favour of Bute Inlet." 

Times were pretty dull. 

"With such an unsettled condition of affairs, can you blame those who were here in not investing 
money in property? Indeed, there was no property to buy. The Hastings Mill Company would not 
sell, the townsite of Granville was a reserve, and you could not get a foot of it from the 
government for love nor money. You ask — why did we not squat? One reason was we were law 


abiding people, and when we understood the townsite was reserved we considered it our duty to 
obey the law. Squatting was of later date. All property outside of Granville townsite and Gastown 
was held in 1 60 acre blocks, and these were not for sale. Of course, if we could have purchased 
property I think some of us would have done so, but whether we should have emerged as 
millionaires is a conundrum, for anything purchased would either have been eaten up in taxes, or 
parted with years ago to avoid such a catastrophe." 

Early Vancouver pictured. 

"Burrard Inlet, as far as population was concerned, was a very small place in 1877. There were 
two mills doing business on the inlet, then — mills, too, that were renowned all over the world even 
at that early period, for the quality of the lumber that they shipped abroad. They were the 
Moodyville Mill and the Hastings Mill. Both of these mills employed a large number of hands. The 
manager of the Hastings Mill was Capt. Raymur, who had formerly been a ship captain, as well 
as ship's husband for Anderson, Anderson & Co., the owners of the mill in London. 

"Mr. R.H. Alexander was next in authority at the Hastings Mill, and he had with him in the office 
Mr. Ainslie Mount, whose father had been an employee of the Hudson's Bay Co. in Victoria. Mr. 
Henry Harvey was manager of the mill store and also postmaster. Mr. Chas. Coldwell, afterwards 
Alderman of Vancouver, was the mill foreman, and Mr. P. Caffney, the engineer, completed the 
roll of the official class. Capt. W.R. Soule was the mill stevedore. 

"The Moodyville Mill had for its manager Mr. Hugh Nelson, afterwards senator, and lieutenant- 
governor of the province. Mr. Ben Springer, everywhere respected and beloved, was next to the 
manager, and head bookkeeper. Mr. Hermann Brantlecht was assistant, Mr. David Shibley 
Milligan was storekeeper and postmaster, while Mr. Philander Sweet was mill foreman, and Mr. 
Murray Thain was the company stevedore. Murray was sometimes assisted in this work by Capt. 
John Thain, his brother, whose residence was in Victoria. Of all these officials I think only 
Hermann Brantlecht is still living. I forgot to tell you of Jim Lockhart, the mill engineer, one of the 
cleverest men in his particular line that has ever been on Burrard Inlet. He too has passed away. 
James Van Bramer, who ran the ferry between Hastings, Moodyville and Gastown, or Granville, 
also lived at Moodyville, nor must I forget that Nestor in the two boat businesses, Capt. Smith, Sr. 

"At that time there were no hotels or saloons in Moodyville, but there might just as well have 
been, because there was one hotel at Hastings kept by Maxime Michaud, a French Canadian 
who was reputed to be wealthy, and there the men obtained all the liquor they desired." 

Celebrities of the town. 

"Now as to Gastown, called after that celebrated philanthropist Gassy Jack, or Jack Deighton. To 
get an idea of old Gastown, picture to yourself a road extending from what is now the Alexandria 
Hotel, west as far as 1 13 Water Street, which corresponded with the western boundary of 
Gastown. The northern side of this road was open, and faced the sea." [The Sunnyside Hotel 
stood on the north west comer of Water and Carrall Street.] "Where the Alexandria now stands 
there was the Sunnyside Hotel. Many people who are resident in the city today will remember it 
as it is not many years since it was pulled down to make room for the present structure. This hotel 
had the front resting on the bank, and the rear extending out over the water and supported on 
piles. It had been built with an eye to convenience as well as comfort, for in the floor at the back 
was a trap door, through which one could lower groceries, clothing, and other comforting articles 
into the canoes beneath." 

George Black. 

"Next to the Sunnyside dwelt Mr. George Black, well known all over British Columbia as an ardent 
and patriotic Scotsman, and poor indeed would be the Scotch dance or picnic if Black, in 
Highland dress, were not there to give the affair a 'go.' Next to his residence Black had his 
butcher shop, where he or his man Robinson dispensed meats to the residents and shipping of 
Burrard Inlet. I can see Black now in my mind's eye as, with a preliminary twist to his curled 
moustache he would lean, one hand on his hip, and the other resting on his knife, whose point 


was pressed into the block, tell some amusing story about something he had seen or heard of 

"On the opposite side from the Sunnyside, and facing it, was the Deighton Hotel, managed by 
Messrs. Clarke and Cudlip. Poor Tom Cudlip had played his last game of cinch, and passed in his 
checks. He came from a good Cornish family, and had great expectations through a young son 
he had, but who unfortunately died of diphtheria in 1 878. Capt. Clarke, his partner, is still alive 
and in good health and lives here in Vancouver. Capt. Clarke had many little confabs with Lord 
Beresford when he was here, and whom he knew in early days when he (Clarke) was master, 
pilot, boatswain and cook of Governor Seymour's yacht." 

First Vancouver jail. 

"West of the Deighton Hotel was the 'lock-up' where those under arrest by Jonathan Miller, 
constable and collector of taxes, were kept in limbo. Mr. Miller's position in those days was no 
sinecure. A pretty hard crowd used to find their way to Burrard Inlet form other parts to escape 
arrest, and it consequently fell to him to put them in the skookum house. This was more often 
effected by strategy than by main force. But when Miller had the drop of them he never funked his 
duty, and never failed to land his man. Mr. Miller was also a school trustee, but I will allow him to 
tell of his trials and tribulations as such in his own way. 

"A little further down was a Chinese store. The proprietor of this shop or store had a boy who 
attended school, and who was a wonder in his class. I have heard since that he turned out well, 
and was about to leave for China to an important position in the British Embassy, when he was 
struck down by the hand of death. The Granville Hotel, of which Joseph Mannion was proprietor, 
occupied a position corresponding to the centre of the town. Joe is still alive. His hotel was well 
patronized. He had a taking way with him, and always a pleasant smile and address to those who 
called upon him. Mr. Mannion had many stories to tell about his early experiences in seeking for 
gold. Having had a good education he could converse on any subject of interest. He knew Davitt 
and Dillon, the Irish Nationalists, and went to school with one of them." 

McKendry, the bootmaker. John Fannin, Provincial Curator. 

"If Burrard Inlet had mills which turned out lumber of worldwide reputation, it also had 
shoemakers who were justly celebrated for the quality of the leather they put in their boots and 
shoes, as well as the careful and substantial manner in which they were made and finished. One 
of these shoemakers was McKendry, who had a small room adjacent to Mannion's Hotel, and 
which was always well patronized by those who took an interest in what was going on in 
lumbering on the coast, and other interesting gossip. The other subject of St. Crispin was John 
Fannin, who lived at Hastings, and who afterwards became curator of the provincial museum. 
Both of these old-timers turned out an article which was in great demand in all parts of the 
province. Many of their orders came from far off Cariboo, and though their charges were high, 
they were paid with pleasure." 

Isaac Jones, customs officer and harbour master. 

"Crazy George." 

"Mr. Isaac Johns, customs officer and harbour master, lived in a neat dwelling to the west of 
Mannion's. Ike, he was called, was from Bristol, England. He was a capable musician and much 
in demand for concerts at New Westminster. Often we would sit and listen to 'Crazy George' 
performing on the flute, of which he was a perfect master. But, of course, Crazy George was of 
later days. He came here from Peru on a lumber vessel. He was in the band of one of the men of 
war of the Peruvian navy, and became mentally affected by his having been jilted by his ladylove. 
Poor George, he was kind to children. I hope he has the flute I gave him in the hospital for the 
insane, where I understand he is at present. At a date later than that of which I speak, George 
lived in a small house at the south end of the Main Street bridge." 


Hole in Wall— house of cheer. 

Peter Donnelly. 

"The Hole in the Wall' was the next dwelling, as well as house of cheer, beyond the dwelling of 
Ike Johns. Mr. Peter Donnelly was the proprietor, and a thorough Scotchman. On the opposite 
side of the road, facing the south, was the Methodist parsonage. This dwelling is now used for a 
fruit business (f) and is 1 1 3 Water Street." 

(f) Incorrect. Parsonage destroyed in Great Fire and never rebuilt; he refers to Methodist Hall, etc. 

Peter Donnelly was also known as "Robertson. " 

"Coming back to the Deighton Hotel, it is worth mentioning that a two-plank wooden walk 
extended from Gastown to the mill. It was a lovely walk on a hot day, as it went through close 
timber and brush." 

The Maple Tree. 

"At the Deighton Hotel was a large maple tree whose extended branches gave ample shade to 
the verandah of the hotel, and was a favourite lounging place for the 'tired' Siwash. A wide road 
extended from the Deighton Hotel to False Creek, flanked by trees of the primeval forest. 

False Creek Bridge. 

"At the bridge across False Creek was George Black's slaughter house. After crossing the bridge, 
the trail extended down to the Fraser River." 

Jericho and Jerry Rogers. 

"In addition to the many employees of the mills clustered in their immediate neighbourhood, were 
numerous logging camps, both on the inlet itself, and scattered along the coast in the several 
timber claims belonging to the companies. Jerry Rogers had a large camp, for instance, at 
Jericho, where some of the finest timber that was ever cut was got out and towed by the powerful 
tug Maggie Rogers to the booms at Hastings Mill. Angus Fraser had a camp on Bowen Island, 
and Furry and Dagget had another camp in what is now known as Stanley Park, removing some 
of the giant timbers from that now famous reserve. This camp was the last of five different camps 
which at one time or another worked within its boundaries." 

Hand loggers. Big trees. 

"Scattered along the coast from the head of Johnston's straits to Burrard Inlet were the shacks of 
scores of hand loggers who cut timber on their own account and sold them to the mills after they 
had been scaled by the mill scaler. These men were usually in partnerships of two. Some of their 
dwellings or shacks were located in most picturesque spots. Many of these shacks were hidden 
in the dense foliage which surrounded them, and their locality could only be divined by the chutes 
they built on which the immense sticks glided into the water. For it must be remembered that in 
those days no logs were taken, nor even looked at, which contained a knot to mar the beauty of 
the flooring into which much of it was cut. The trees cut down were usually those which hadn't a 
branch below sixty or seventy feet from the ground. Oh, they were giants in those days. Sticks 
have been turned out from the mills 30 x 30 x 120 feet long. There was a great demand at this 
time for square timber of large size for China, and a great deal of it went there." 

Hand loggers, etc. 

"Most of these loggers led a very lonely life. There were very few steamers churning the waters of 
the northern coast in those days, except one or two bound for Alaska, and an occasional tug in 
search of some hand loggers' boom which was ready for the mill. Months might go by, and these 
men would never see a stranger. You may imagine therefore that they looked forward to 
Christmas time with a happy anticipation of fun and frolic. Those who were any distance away 
would take advantage of some passing tug, perhaps a couple of weeks before Christmas, and 
make their way to 'Gastown.' They were, on the whole, a good class of men. Brawny and well 
developed they were the finest of axemen. Those who arrived first in Gastown usually spent the 
most of their time on the waterfront keeping a sharp lookout for others who were expected from 


day to day. Every man was known, and it was a daily speculation with those already arrived as to 
whether Jack or Jim or Tom would be the next arrival." 


"Yes, it was good to see the welcome which each man received as he ran his boat up by the 
floating stage in front of Mannion's Hotel. All hands would go down to the landing stage until it 
would threaten to sink with all on board. Then the handshakings followed. Having moored their 
craft, they would be led up on the bank — and the drinks that would go round, and the questions, 
and the laughter — all good humoured, and then the enquires as to their prospects, and as to how 
much they had cut, and what their last boom had measured. Then out they would all go, and visit 
some other house of cheer, until they had made the round. 

"And I am proud to add that there was little drunkenness among them. They drank, but they were 
not drunkards. They were a superior class of men to that. Ask Mannion, who is here with us today 
in Vancouver, or Capt. Clarke. They will tell you the same. Of course, there were many among 
these happy fellows who never touched any liquor stronger than beer, and some not even that. 
The most of these men were of a saving character, and had money coming to them at the offices 
at the mill, and after spending Christmas in Gastown would take a little trip to Victoria, which was 
at that time the Mecca of British Columbia." 

Christmas in Gastown. 

"When Christmas Day arrived the hotels would all be full. The tables always groaned with the 
best the market afforded. George Black made a point of having the finest of bunch grass beef for 
those who patronized him on Burrard Inlet. The dinner was the meal on Christmas day as it 
always is the world over, and these dinners in the hotels of Burrard Inlet were no exception to the 
rule. Yes, and the boys always had toasts in which their lady loves were not forgotten. Joe 
Mannion and Capt. Clarke would sit at the heads of their respective tables with smiles broader 
than their countenances, and that they were not niggardly in any way was amply demonstrated at 
the close, for cheers for their hosts invariably followed. Then all would adjourn and play cards or 
checkers in the rooms allotted to those games." 

Jerry Rogers and Jericho. 

"Leaving the hotels at Gastown and paying a visit to the logging camp at Jericho, there you would 
receive a welcome spontaneous and hearty. Jerry Rogers was always proud of his Christmas 
dinners. They were high class, and put on the table with great ceremony. Sometimes a miniature 
barbecue would be furnished the boys, as the old man affectionately called his workers. Such a 
dinner; better than you can see in this city today. Venison fat and juicy — suckling pigs and 
turkeys — none of your cold storage turkeys, either, but killed and dressed a few days before — 
ducks and geese, both wild and tame — and a huge sirloin of George Black's best bunch grass 
products. A monster plum pudding with a sprig of holly, and aflame with brandy, wound up the 
feast, to bind together what had gone before. Small stowage, Jerry called it. How the old man's 
eyes would twinkle as he watched the feast, and listened to the occasional sallies of wit, which 
burst from different parts of the table." 

Splendid axemen. 

"That gathering of men represented some of the finest lumbermen on the continent. The axemen 
had no equals with the deftness with which they wielded the single or double bitted axe. To give a 
proper touch to the feast, there was always two twenty gallon kegs of beer on tap. The good old 
man was the happiest of the band, for to make his men happy at this festive time was his single 
aim. Among those who worked in the camp at that time was Mike King. Mike in those days was 
dressed in a blue shirt, sans coat, a broad strap around his waist, his hair rather long, curly, and 
hatless. He was an expert with the axe, and was generally selected on state occasions, such as 
visitors of the Governor-General to fell the giants of the forest." 


How Jericho got its name. 

"The only thing which remains to tell of the glories of departed days is the name Jericho. This 
name was given to the camp by Jerry himself, to conform to scripture, for did not Jeremiah dwell 
in Jericho? 

"The other camps also commemorated Christmas Day after similar methods. There was the Furry 
and Dagget camp. This outfit was always celebrated for the excellence of their table, which was 
looked after by the wife of one of the partners." 

Angus Fraser. 

"Angus Fraser, who had a heart as big as an ox, made a special point of seeing that the 
Christmas dinner should be up to the mark. Being a married man his Christmas was spent partly 
in the camp, and partly at home." (Also see Early Vancouver, Vol. 3.) 

Logging camps. 

"On both sides of the inlet, those who were not connected with the camps spent their Christmas 
much as they do now. Plum puddings and mince pies engaged the attention of busy housewives 
for weeks in advance of the festive occasion. Isolated, to a certain extent, from the rest of British 
Columbia, a social and sympathetic feeling bound all as though in one bond of family. Go into any 
house where there were children and your ears were greeted with squeaking trumpets and 
hammering of drums, and even before you reached the door the evidence that Santa Claus had 
not forgotten the little children of this far western harbour was before your eyes in sleighs being 
pulled on sawdust and mud, or skates being tested on the same material." 

Cost of eggs. 

"You often hear today of the high price of eggs. But the prices here today are low in comparison 
with the prices of eggs in 1 877. We obtained most of our eggs, turkeys, geese, ducks, and 
chickens from an Irishman who paid occasional visits to Burrard Inlet with the fowl I have 
mentioned, and also with potatoes and vegetables which might be in season. Willy Paterson — 
that was his name — came from Semiahmoo, and did a roaring business here. He always 
managed to sell his whole cargo, which was carried in a 12 ton sloop. Just about Christmas time, 
those with eyes bent upon the First Narrows would see this indefatigable trader making his way in 
on the rising tide. After clearing his sloop at the local customs house, Billy would make the round 
of Gastown to ascertain how the supply and demand stood in respect to the farm produce which 
he carried under his hatches. Eggs were always in demand at this period for making 'Tom and 
Jerries,' and good stiff prices were asked and paid for absolutely fresh eggs. In 1877 eggs were 
high — in price I mean — and you could not buy them for less than $3.00 per dozen, and we were 
lucky to get them for that." 

Little ones not forgotten. 

"I have told you already that the little children were not forgotten at Christmas time. The 
population of the province was small and much scattered, and old Santa Claus had very long 
journeys to make which necessarily took up much of his time. He always came to the Inlet two or 
three weeks in advance of Christmas time, and took a good look at all the little boys and girls to 
settle in his mind what kind of a present would suit each one. As his sleigh was always full for the 
little Indians of the northern missions, and as he had to 'make time,' he always made 
arrangements with the captain of the Etta White, who was a distant relative of his — at least the 
captain used to say so — to bring up most of the presents from his storehouse in Victoria the day 
before Christmas, and also a special team of reindeer small enough to make their way down the 
stovepipes which led into the houses. There were no chimneys, consequently he had a tight 
squeeze to get near any little child's stocking. But he was very good, and never forgot any child. 
They were all well satisfied and well treated; even the little Siwashes were not forgotten." 



"The effects of the Christmas generally led up to a kind of ennui which lasted until over New 
Year's Day. Then the boys would begin to make a move towards their shacks, laden with all kinds 
of remembrances of their holidays. Let me add that many of the residents here spent their 
Christmas in Victoria or New Westminster. Some even went as far as San Francisco." 

Sleighing— Burnaby Lake. 

"We had visitors, too, from New Westminster, as the sleighing was good one winter, and if there 
was not too much snow on the ice I think a good many used to find their way to Burnaby Lake 
where they would enjoy themselves immensely." 

Royal people in Royal City. 

"A visit to New Westminster always resulted in your being well treated there, and they had no 
bounds to their hospitality. When you went there, you were sure to see Capt. Adolphus Peele, 
weather prophet, who always greeted you with some reference to the weather. On my visit there 
a short time since, although I had not seen him for twenty years, he had the same reference to 
the weather, and the beauty of it was that he was nearly always right. He has today probably the 
most valuable collection of weather reports of New Westminster District, and of this province 
generally, that can be found outside the bureau at Ottawa. Mr. Joseph Armstrong was another 
gentleman who was there then, and is there now. He has not changed in the slightest in the last 
thirty years. 

"When the Christmas week was over in Old Gastown, the little burg went once more asleep for 
another year." 

(From the Daily Province, Vancouver.) 

Saturday, December 21 st 1912. 

(Unknown writer.) 

Hastings Street East. Orange Lodge. Keefer's Hall. Methodist Hall, Water 

On referring this photograph to Mr. Thos. Duke, a very early Orangeman, he said, "Oh, this would be 
coming down the plank road on Hastings Street, east of Westminster Avenue." Keefer's Hall was on 
Alexander Street, between Gore Avenue and Westminster Avenue. (Photo, 12 July 1888, Orange 

"Vancouver Lodge, Orangemen 1560 — Special Church Service. 

"All members of the Loyal Orange Association residing in Vancouver are called upon to meet in the Lodge 
Room, Keefer's Hall, Alexander Street, on Sunday, 8 th July at 3 p.m. and from thence to march in 
procession to the Methodist Hall, Water Street, where a special service will be conducted by the Rev. Mr. 
Robson. Service at 3 p.m. Text 'An Open Bible.' 

"Thos. Crawford, Rec. Sec. 1560." 

Early on the morning of 12 July (1888) they went to the wharves to meet the Victoria and New 
Westminster delegation — went from Keefer's Hall — returning by a different route to luncheon. At one 
o'clock they reassembled and went to the Recreation Grounds (presumably Cambie Street grounds). 
Afterwards the procession again paraded the streets. It was a rainy day, which would account for the lack 
of shadows in the photograph. 

Note clearing fires burning over towards Grove Crescent. 


16 July 1 935 - Waterworks (Capilano River). 

Mr. Oben's statement that Chief Joe Capilano told him that he was the first white man who had 
penetrated to the source of the Capilano River, is disputed by Mr. A. P. Home who points out that Mr. 
Oben says that the crossed from the First Narrows to Howe Sound in June 1892. 

Mr. Home, together with two white men and two Indians, one of whom was Chief Joe crossed from Howe 
Sound to the First Narrows the summer following his arrival in Vancouver, which was in November 1889, 
and Mr. Home says that Chief Joe told him his party was the first to cross. 

It may have been that Chief Joe meant that one party was the first to cross from north to south and the 
other from south to north. 

(See A. P. Home, Narratives.) 

city archivist. 

Waterworks (Capilano). Chief Joe Capilano. Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Oben. 

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Oben, 4415 Kingsway, Central Park, Thursday, 14 April 1932. 

"Chief Joe Capilano told me at the time, June 1 892, that I was the first white man who had penetrated to 
the source of the Capilano River," said Mr. Oben, while Mrs. Oben sat listening. (For detailed account of 
dates, etc., see Judge Howay's History of B.C., page 956.) 

"Vancouver was about to install a water system, to do away with the wells which had formerly supplied 
the water, and, of course, as you know the Capilano system was chosen in place of the Coquitlam 
proposal. J.J. Nickson, afterwards the well-known contractor, was superintendent of the Capilano water 
system construction, and it was he who sent me to find out where the water of the Capilano River came 
from, and how much; facts which were then unknown. That was in June 1 892. 

"Chief Joe Capilano of North Vancouver, and another Indian, whose name escapes me for the moment, 
were selected as my guides, and the three of us started out with sixty pounds of grub, rifle, and blankets 
each on our backs, quite a heavy load considering the rough mountainous country we were going into. 
We followed the river course for the simple reason that we had no choice; no trail existed. 

"So we travelled all the first day on the river gravel, and camped the first night on a sandbar, then all the 
next day until the evening when we came right up to the mountain, and, strangely, there we found the 
water coming up from under a rock; there was about twelve feet of snow on the ground; it was a very 
peculiar condition. Then we found a space, a hollow about fifty feet square, where there was vegetation, 
and we went down to that, cut down some trees and made a camp fire. 

"The next morning at daybreak Chief Joe said to me, Tm going to have a serious time to find my way'; the 
mountains were clothed in fog. You know, an Indian finds his way by the top of the mountains, steers by 
them, and on this particular morning they were shrouded in fog. The ground was covered with ice, and on 
the third day our path lay over the ice; for hours we crossed a great slide; I think it took about four hours 
to cross that slide; two mountain slides had slid down into the valley, and it was from beneath this great 
slide, as from a tunnel, that the water was emerging; it came from underneath. Then we came to a lake, 
not a large one, but about the size of Trout Lake here in Grandview. The lake, of course, frozen over, so 
we walked across the ice. It was Sunday morning, and I recall remarking that the people in Vancouver 
would be going to church, so we stopped, and had coffee and biscuits, or rather what we had left. We 
were 1 ,800 feet above sea level. I should have named that lake; it was doubtless unnamed at the time; it 
could not possibly have been named then. Presently Capilano said to me, 'We have got to get a move on 
as soon as possible because it is a long distance from our objective,' so we left there after about an 
hour's rest. Joe's objective was the top of a mountain about 2,000 feet high, and he kept circling and 
circling around the mountain. Our packs were heavy, and to add to our trials it began to pour with heavy 
rain until we and our packs were soaked, and that made the packs heavier still. Finally we reached the 
top, and found the moss completely trampled down by deer. We walked pretty fast, lost no time, and it 


was very dark long before we got to saltwater on the Howe Sound side. We had had little to eat that day, 
our grub was all gone, and were a little troubled as to what we should do for food. 

"But by some whim of fortune, when we got down to saltwater in Howe Sound we found an old shack on 
the shore. I do not know exactly where it was, not having been there since; I was depending on Joe. We 
were soaking wet, and had nothing to eat with us. Presently I heard some hammering in the shack, and 
on approaching it slipped aside a door — just a board which did as a door — and a voice inside said, 'Hello, 
where did you come from?' I replied, 'It's all right, friend, we've just come across.' It was very dark at the 

"The man, whose name I do not know, enquired who we were, and as I did not want to tell him what we 
were there for, said that we were engineers searching for a railway route. I asked him if he had any flour, 
and he replied, 'Yes, come along with me,' and took us to a little shack. The shack was locked, it was 
pouring rain, we had to get shelter, so I took my axe and pried the door open. It was very dark, about ten 
p.m. both inside and outside, but there was an old stove in the shack, so we lit a fire to dry ourselves and 
our blankets. Presently he said, 'Come along with me,' so I left the two Indians drying their clothes and 
blankets, and he took me to his little house about a thousand yards further on, introduced me to his wife; 
they had one child; the lady was very nervous, so I explained myself, told her that I wanted something to 

"She set to, and made some buns, and certainly treated me splendidly, and in a short time I was able to 
take a lot of buns to the Indians, when we all ate together. What we should have done without those kind 
people I do not know; they were very, very kind. I never found out who they were. 

"So the man came back with me to 'our' shack, and afterwards suggested that I come over to his house to 
sleep. 'No,' I replied, 'I have slept with the chief here since I left the city, and I am going to sleep here 
tonight,' I thanked him, but we three all stayed together. 

"The next morning was a lovely one, and they brought us more biscuits and I do not know what else; we 
had lots to eat. 

"The settler had an old flat bottomed boat which was not seaworthy so we set to work to fix it up; tarred 
and painted it and so on; it took us two days, and on the third, at daybreak, we started home in the fixed 
up flat bottom boat, and the settler came with us; four in the boat. Joe, that is Capilano Joe, said that if we 
worked hard we could reach Vancouver 'by tonight.' We worked hard, good and hard; it was a long pull, 
and it was midnight when we reached the First Narrows. 

"When we got to the city I gave the man fifty dollars I had on me; at first he would not take it, but I made 
him. It was his intention to fill the boat up with provisions and return home the next day. 

"On my way home I first called in at J.J. Nickson's and got him out of bed, told him of the trip, that we had 
found the sources of the water of the Capilano River, that a portion of the water went into Howe Sound, 
the smaller portion, but that the larger portion came into the Capilano River. It was a queer circumstance, 
but the fact was actually that the lake from which the Capilano River started was on the pivot of the 
mountain top, and two streams flowed out of the lake, that going into the Capilano being the heaviest. J.J. 
Nickson suggested that we should have to crib the water back so that all the water would come into the 
Capilano. Joe told me that there was another little lake higher up still, but we did not go up there, and I 
have never been to our little lake since. Our little lake was a beautiful spot, perpetually fed by the snow 
from the surrounding mountains, and so far as I know, nameless at the time. It was a fortunate thing we 
went up when we did; five or six men tried it afterwards and failed, the mountain side was very 
precipitous, almost straight up in places on both sides; we crossed the river dozens of times, were wet up 
to our middle doing so, and the ice was very troublesome; we used a piece of an augur as an alpenstock. 

"The Capilano Water Works was owned by R.P. Rithet, Captain Johnny Irving, and two other Victoria 
men. Hugh Keefer was the engineer, J.W. McFarland the secretary, and J.J. Nickson the superintendent, 
and to the latter belongs the credit of having laid out the pipe line route, and then built it. He afterwards 
went to work for the gas works in Westminster, and died some years ago at Sechelt. I was assistant 
superintendent or foreman of works, and was one of the first sub-marine divers; Llewellyn, who had been 
a diver in the British navy, and who remained with the city for so many years, was another. Steve 


Madison, afterwards for many years waterworks foreman, was pot boy, that is, he kept the lead molten, 
the lead with which we sealed the water main joints. 

"The steel pipes on shore, 16" and 22" were made at the Albion Iron Works, Victoria; the pipes beneath 
the waters of the Narrows were 12", made in England. They were of the chain bell type, and were 
adopted on the recommendation of Mr. Hugh Keefer, the engineer; they were a sort of ball and socket 
joint; we could not get them in Canada, so brought them from England. We dragged them across the 
bottom of the Narrows. It was a difficult job, as it had to be done quick when the tide was slack and water 
still; we could not do it when the tide was flowing or ebbing. At the head of the pipe we had two logs, one 
on each side, and we pulled on that with a hand winch. Although Mr. Keefer was the engineer, it was Mr. 
Nickson who laid the pipe line route down from the mountain. 

"Later I conducted the first party of Vancouver aldermen to the dam." 

Clearing the forest off the West End. 

"I came to Vancouver from Toronto in March 1 887; they were just putting in the foundations of the Hotel 
Vancouver when I arrived. I had been a pioneer contractor at West Toronto Junction; owned a lot of land 
there on the other side of the Western Road; went up there in the early days and took it up on 
preemption. But Mrs. Oben's health was not good, so I sacrificed all and came west with $20,000 or 
$25,000 and dropped the whole of it clearing the trees off the West End for the C.P.R. 

"I cleared all the land west of Nicola Street down to Stanley Park of the standing trees. My camp was 
down on Georgia Street — there was no Georgia Street then — " (Note: Mrs. Capt. Percy Nye says, see 
ante, "Mr. Oben is a relative of ours. North of Robson Street the land was in stumps and rubbish when we 
came earlier than Mr. Oben; south of Robson the trees were still standing long after we came; these Mr. 
Oben cleared away." Also see panorama photo of "West End in '90s.") "at the foot of Gilford Street on 
Coal Harbour. I had thirty or forty men and eight yolk of oxen taking out the logs and lashing. I sold the 
logs to the men who built the mill," (Fader Bros.) "now enlarged and known as Robertson and Hackett's at 
the southern foot of Granville Street on False Creek." (Beach Avenue.) "We had a lot of trouble with fires, 
an awfully trying time; fires were getting into the slashing constantly, and gave us much worry. That was 
the second year we were here, I think, probably 1889, perhaps 1890." (See Mrs. Nye's narrative re 
keeping fires out of Stanley Park.) 

Vancouver nervous about fires. 

"We had considerable excitement on the occasion of the second fire in Vancouver, 6 June 1 887. It was 
up near the corner of Hastings and Granville," (actually Pender and Howe) "where I had a number of 
houses. Rainsford and others, all had wagons up at the corner of Hastings and Granville, everything 
ready, in case our row of houses caught fire. They were loading people onto cars at the C.P.R. station," 
(see Early Vancouver, Matthews) "and taking them off up towards Port Moody. I recall a man, a plasterer 
he was who lived on Seymour Street, his daughter had died the day before. He picked her poor dead 
body up, and carried her down to the C.P.R. Depot, and put her in the car where Mrs. Oben was. I had all 
the money I brought with me from Toronto in a valise." 

Hotel Vancouver. 

Note: Mr. Oben states that at the time of his arrival in March 1 887 they were putting down the foundations 
of the Hotel Vancouver. 

A photograph of the digging of the Vancouver Hotel foundations is marked 1 886 by Mr. Cambie, the 
C.P.R. engineer. 

The plans, the first plans, of the Hotel Vancouver were prepared in the Ferguson Block, southeast corner 
Carrall and Powell Street, and were destroyed in the Great Fire of 13 June 1886. All had to be re-drawn. 

Settlement of South Vancouver. Park Avenue— Commercial Drive. 

"After certain financial misfortune I took up a holding of acres on the other side of Park Avenue," 
(Commercial Drive) "formerly in South Vancouver, now in the city, cleared and cultivated it, and still own 
it. About that time some sixty-four holdings of from five to eight acres were given out as an experiment by 
the government; it was an idea I think of R.G. Tatlow's. My wife and I and the baby lived in a little one 


room shack, and I took a job with the city of Vancouver at one dollar a day and glad to get it. It took me an 
hour and a half to walk into my job and another one and a half to walk back at night by the trail. 

"Prior to securing a job I had had a peculiar experience. Times were very hard for me just at that moment; 
there was no food in the shack and I went to Vancouver searching for work. I went up Granville Street; 
not cut out properly then, and sat there on the corner, feeling pretty blue, no grub at home and no work to 
be found. I looked down on the ground in front of where I sat, I saw something which looked like a leaf, 
reached out, and picked up a paper bill; it was for $5.00. I had a sack full of grub on my shoulder and was 
on my way home before much time had elapsed. 

"Our son Roy Oben served overseas in a trawler. In loading coal from a small war vessel at sea a coal 
basket fell on him, and he is now deaf, totally deaf, in consequence. He was in the R.C.N.V.R., 
transferred to the British Navy; was student at law before the war, is now school teacher and postmaster 
at Lasqueti Island." 

(Above as narrated to J.S. Matthews, 14 April 1932.) 

This camp was close to Denman Street. (See Phillip Oben.) 


Doubt now, 1 934, if this is correct. This is probably a F. Dally photo of 1 867-1 870, Provincial 
Archives. JSM. 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_101 


Seventh Avenue West. 

The full reason why Seventh Avenue West was the first street cut through from Westminster Avenue 
(Main Street) to Centre Street (Granville Street south of False Creek) are not completely known, but those 
who recall Mount Pleasant and Fairview in early days tell of the very swampy nature of the land (see 
Capt. Nye, Early Vancouver, 1932) between Westminster Avenue and Bridge Street (South Cambie 
Street). Just west of Bridge Street stood the Leamy and Kyle Lumber Mill almost on a level with Fifth 
Avenue; the road to North Arm, and the "New Road," or Westminster Road, branched off at Seventh 
Avenue to the east; Seventh Avenue was the logical street to cut out and clear; there would be no sense 
in going up to Ninth Avenue, or Broadway at that time, but which street, after the carline was laid down, 
became the most important of the two thoroughfares. 

West of Bridge Street is Ash Street, and just west of Ash Street a creek came down the hill, and entered 
False Creek exactly at Sixth Avenue; an arm of False Creek indented as far as Sixth Avenue exactly, 
and, at that point on Sixth Avenue a bridge two to three hundred feet long would have been needed, 
whereas the bridge on Seventh higher up was a very short one comparatively. Passing still further 
westward, the shore of False Creek approached the line of Sixth Avenue so closely, and the land dipped 
down so near to sea level, that Sixth offered no attractions for the site of a rough road over which horses 
were to draw loads. Seventh was infinitely a more level, less expensive prospective route, and was, in 
addition, a familiar route to pedestrians who always take the easiest level, because there had been an old 
trail, a man's width wide through the forest, for years from Gastown, via the False Creek Bridge to Snauq 
(False Creek Indian Reserve), Greer's Beach, and on to the logging camps of Jericho. 

Extract from The Daily Province, Monday, 31 July 1933. 

Phillip Oben, Pioneer 

by J.S. Matthews 

Phillip Oben has gone, aged 78, and the "builders of Vancouver" are one fewer. 

What did he build? He cleared the ground — or at least some of it; he swept away the forest that 
we might have a street, a home, a lawn; he banished age-old shadow; he let the sunlight in. 

Come to the West End, and there, from the brow of the hill which slopes gently westwards 
towards Stanley Park, gaze over the panorama of a splendid homes which cluster, row upon row, 
between the waters of English Bay and Lost Lagoon, there, all below Nicola Street, Oben first 

Peer into the past, and see the sights that Oben saw; the towering forest, dark and damp; feel the 
solitude, glimpse the hastening deer. Or, listen for the sounds that Oben heard; the slow 
measured chock, chock, chock of the woodsman's axe; hear the long swish as falling trees 
sweep earthwards, the dull heavy thud as great trunks bump to ground. 

Then, phantomlike, slide down to the bunkhouse on Coal Harbor, near the Park entrance. Watch 
the cook draw his water from a spring, or "haul off and with iron bar strike the steel triangle; a 
piercing ring, metallic, musical, stings the ear, and serves as dinner gong to call weary men to 
supper. Here comes the tired bull puncher and his eight yoke of oxen — hauling forest debris into 
heaps, for burning is hard work — and following down the skidroad plods "the boss," Oben. 

The Royal Engineers, who in 1863 first surveyed the "Brickmaker's Claim," i.e. the West End, 
wrote across their map "heavily timbered land, very swampy in places," and so it was; old logging 
bosses say "the finest stand of timber I ever saw"; old sportsmen shot wild duck in the swale 
below the Courthouse. Then Morton, Hailstone, Brighouse, the original pre-emptors, who got their 
land title at "our Government House in our city of New Westminster," from "Victoria by the grace 
of God ... and of the Colonies in Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australasia, queen," sold 
some logs to Moody's Mill (North Vancouver), more logs to Captain Stamp's Mill (Hastings 
Sawmill) and the "Oregon pine" lumber went to foreign parts by sailing ship. Solitary axemen 
hewed octagonal spars for the British navy. 


But the West End forest was seemingly inexhaustible, for in the late eighties, even ... [printer's 
error] ... the "follway" beside the logger's cabin and pigsty at the foot of Davie Street, and 
dumping them into English Bay. Then came Oben, and finished the job; what logs were left he 
sold to Fader's Mill (Robertson and Hackett's now). 

Oben cleared the land, but it took some winning; the Royal Engineers were right; it was "heavily 
timbered." Then fire got into the slashings, excitement ran high; one terrible fire and two frights 
had made Vancouver nervous, and, too, Stanley Park was in danger. Our first fireboat, a tug, was 
improvised, and pumped water; the Park was saved. Oben won the struggle, but lost his fortune. 

Phillip Oben was a discoverer. Vancouver's water supply first flowed beneath the Narrows about 
midnight March 25, 1 889, but none knew positively where it came from. Oben undertook to 
discover the source of the Capilano River. Together with Capilano Joe and another Indian as 
guides, he set out — each carrying sixty pounds of "grub," rifle and a blankets, followed 
upstream — no trail existed — crossed and recrossed waist deep in water, until finally, high up on 
the precipitous mountainside, they found a lake, frozen solid in June; crossed its surface, reached 
the topmost ridge; food became exhausted, and half starved, they descended to Howe Sound, 
where they were succored at a pioneer cabin on the shore. Chief Joe said Oben was the first 
white man to traverse these parts. 

The pioneer often pays for his courage; Oben paid well for his. He came with wealth of one sort; 
he departed with wealth of another. He left us a legacy more priceless than jewels — the memory 
of indomitable courage, of service to his fellows, an honored name and a gallant sailor son. 

Extract from The Province, 10 June 1933. 

An Appreciation 

by J.S. Matthews 

A young matron, babe in arms, fled terror-stricken through the stumps of Pender Street, and cast 
herself head-long into a shallow ditch of water besides what is now the C.P.R. freight sheds; 
strong arms — her husband's — threw a wet blanket over them. Both escaped death. The holocaust 
of 1 886, which destroyed our first city, passed above them as they lay, burning as it went through 
the blanket, and singeing hair from the child's head. That was almost fifty years ago. 

The child grew, and is now a well-known matron of Kitsilano; the mother, beloved and gracious 
lady, a pioneer of Gastown from 1 884, died recently; full of honor and of years; her name, once 
on many lips, somewhat forgotten. Nothing especially remarkable, perhaps, at such an age, and 
in a land where good women are as common as blossoms in spring. 

But wait. This woman was a soldier's friend, and soldiers, like children — and dogs — have long 
memories for kind friends. She was of that legion to which all soldiers bend a grateful knee; akin 
to Florence Nightingale, only different; that great galaxy of devoted Canadian women, some rich, 
most poor, many unknown, who helped — actually helped — in the Great War. She was a knitter of 
socks. Those there may be who will smile — such plebian wear — but such as do are not soldiers, 
and smile without knowledge. 

With her own wrinkled fingers — she was about seventy then — this good friend knitted eight 
hundred single socks — four hundred pair — enough to outfit the battle strength of many a worn 
battalion; one half sock for each day of the war. She knew naught of the big raw blotches, torn 
and angry, after a hot day's march, of the bleached foot, bloodless, white and stinking after a 
week of wet boots, nor the misery of fitful slumber on frozen ground with feet cold as lumps of ice. 

But her great soul felt for men she had never seen or heard of; her feminine intuition sensed the 
need, and patiently, faithfully, day in, day out, she knitted socks, warm socks, eight hundred 
socks. And the men wondered, but never knew, who were the angels who sent the socks. 

Few realized in full the part the women played. The secret of the C.E.F. was its quality. First, 
every man was a volunteer, and secondly, the wholehearted support of those who stayed 


behind — and the women. Their little package of remembrance which came, a stick of chewing 
gum, a box of cigarettes, a pair of woollen socks, handmade by loving hands. In such the "boys" 
found comfort; the generals, and the field officers, saw the greater meaning; subtle messages of 
affection and encouragement. Throughout the long-drawn strife, gentle hearts aplenty were 
crushed to tears, but there was no whimpering; soldiers cannot fight their best if the women wail, 
and battles are won by morale, not by guns. 

The good lady's name? There were others, too, in cohorts; thanks be to them all, God bless 
them. This one was Mrs. Reid, the late Mrs. Duncan R. Reid, first lady school trustee, 1898, of 
Vancouver; who passed away last month. 



Published daily at The Province Bldg. 
Victory Square, Vancouver, by The 
Vancouver Daily Province Limited. 

The Province aim* to be an inde- 
pendent, clean newspaper for the 
home, devoted to public service. 

MONDAY, JULY 31, 1933. 

Phillip Oben, Pioneer 


PHILLIP OBEN has gone, aged 18. and 
the "builders o f Vancouver" are one 

What did he build? He cleared the 
ground — or some of It — , he swept away the 
forest that we might have a street, a home, 
a lawn: he banished age-old shadow; he 
Jet the sunlight in. 

Come to the r est End, and there, from 
the brow of the hill which slopes gently 
westwards towards Stanley Park, gaze Over 
the panorama of splendid homes which 
cluster, row on row, between the waters of 
English Bay and Lost Lagoon; there, all 
below Nicola street, Oben first labored. 

Peer into the past, and see the sights 
that Oben saw; the towering forest, dark 
and damp; leel the solitude; glimpse the 
hastening deer. Or, listen for the sounds 
that Oben heard; the slow measured chock, 
chock, chock of the woodsman's axe; hear 1 
tile long swish as falling trees sweep earth- 
wards, the dull heavy thud as great trunks 
bump to ground. 

Then, phantomlike, slide down to the: 
Bunkhouse on Coal Harbor, near the Par* 
entrance. Watch the cook draw his water 
. from a spring, or "haul off" anil with iron 
bar strike the steel triangle; a piercing ring, 
metallic, musical, stings the ear, and serves 
as dinner gong to call weary men to supper. 
Here conies the tired bull puncher and His 
eight yoke of oxen— hauling forest debris 
Into heaps, for burning Is hard work— and 
following down the skidroad plods "the 
bow," Oben. 

♦ ♦ + 

The Royal Engineers, who in 1883 first 
surveyed the "Brlckmaker's Claim," l.e. the 
West Bnd, wrote across their map, "heavily 
timbered land, very swampy in places," and 
so It was: old logging bosses say, "the finest 
stand of timber I ever saw"; old sportsmen 
shot, wild duck In the swale below the 
Courthouse. Then Morton. Hailstone, Brig- 
house, the original pre -emptors, who got 
their land title at "our Government House 
in our city of New Westminster,*' from 
"Victoria by the grace of God, etc., aud of 
the Colonies in Europe, Asia, Africa, America 
and Australatla, queen." sold some logs to 
Moody's Mill | North Vancouver), more logs 
to Capt, Stamp's Mill (Hastings Sawmill) 
and the "Oregon pine" lumber went to 
foreign parts by sailing ship. Solitary axe- 
men hewed octagonal spars for the British 

But the West End forest was seemingly 
Inexhaustible, f" '""'"J^jIph'-'Tt -tireiy 
am! AQullaluula, *SSSS?-EiJlfl some log! M 
the "follway" beside the logger's cabin and 
pigsty at the foot of Or: le street, and dump- 
ing them Into English Bay. Then came 
Oben, and finished *.he Job; what logs were 
left he sold to Fader's Mill, (Robertson and 
Hackett's now). 

Oben cleared the land, but it took some 
winning; the Royal Engineers were right; 
it was "heavily timbered." Then fire got 
into the slashings, excitement ran high; 
one terrible fire and two frights had made 
Vancouver nervous, and, too, Stanley Park 
was in danger. Our first flreboat, a tug, 
was improvised, and pumped water; the 
Park was saved. Oben won the struggle, but 
lost his fortune. 

♦ + ♦ 

Phillip Oben was a discoverer. Vancou- 
ver's water supply first flowed beneath the 
Narrows about midnight March 25, 1889, 
but none knew positively where it came 
from, Oben undertook to discover the source 
or the Capllano River. Together with Capi- 
lano Joe and another Indian as guides, he 
set out—each carrying sixty pounds of 
"grub," rifle and blankets, followed up- 
stream—no trail existed — crossed and re- 
crossed waist deep in water, until finally, 
high up on the precipitous mountainside 
they found a lake, frozen solid in June; 
crossed its surface, reached the topmost 
ridge; food became exhausted, and half 
starved, they descended to Howe Sound, 
where they were succored at a pioneer cabin 
on the shore. Chief Joe said Oben was the 
first white man to traverse those parts. 

The pioneer Often pays for- his courage; 
Oben paid well for his He came With 
wealth of one sort; he departed with wealth 
of another. He left us a legacy more price- 
less than Jewels— the memory of indomitable 
courage, of service to his fellows, an 
honored name and a gallant sailor son 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 02 




SH^ 10. '<J^ 

An Appreciation 


A YOTJNG matron h babe In arms, fled 
jl terror-stricken through the stumps of 
JT*" Pender street, and cast herself head- 
long Into a shallow ditch of water beside 
what Is now the C. V. R. freight sheds; 
strong aims — her husband's — threw 1 a wet 
blanket over them. Both escaped death. 
The holocaust of 18Bo\ which destroyed our 
first city, pas«d above them as they lay. 
burning as it went, through the blanket, 
and singeing hair from the child's head. 
That was almost fifty years ago. 

The child grew, and is now a well-known 
matron of; the mother, beloved 
and gracious lady, a pioneer of Ge.stown 
from 1884, died recently; full of honor and 
of yean; her name, once on many lips, 
somewhat forgotten. Nothing especially re- 
markable. perhaps, at such an age, and in 
a land where good women are as common 
as blossoms in spring. 

4- + ♦ 
But wsJt This woman vu a soldier's 
friend* and soldiers, lite ehlldren-^and dogs 
— ha™ long memories for kind friends. She 
wts of that legion to which all soldiers 
bend a grateful knee; akin to Florence 
Nightingale, only different; that great 
galaiy of devoted Canadian women, some 
rich, most poor, many unknown, who helped 
—actually helped — In the Great War. She 
was a knitter of socks. Those there were 
may bs who will smile — such pleblan weax 
—but such as do are not soldiers, and 
■mile without knowledge. 

With her own wrinkled fingers— she was 
about seventy then — this good friend knit* 
ted eight hundred single socks— four hun- 
dred pair— enough to outfit the battle 
strength of many a worn battalion; one 
half sock for each day of the war. Bhe 
knew nought of the big raw blootchee, torn | 
sad angry, after a hot day's march, of the i 
bleached foot, bloodless, white and stinking 
after a week of wet boots, nor the misery j 
of fitful slumber on frozen ground with ' 
! feet cold ss lumps of ice. 

But her great soul felt for men she had 
never seen or heard oft her feminine intu- 
ition tensed the need, and patiently, faith- 
' Jully, day In day out, she knitted sacks* 
warm socks, more socks, eight hundred 
socks. And the men wondered, but never 
knew, who were the angels who sent the 

* + + 
Few realise in full the part the women 
played. The secret of the C.E.P. was its 
quality. First, every man was a volunteer, 
and secondly, the wholehearted support of 
those who stayed behind — and the women. 
Their little package of remembrance which 
came, a stick of chewing gum. a box of 
cigarettes, a pair of woollen socks, hand- 
made by loving hands. In such the "boys" 
found comfort; the generals, and the field 
officers, saw the greater meaning; subtle 
messages of affection and encouragement. 
Throughout that long-drawn strife, gentle 
hearts, aplenty were crushed to tears, but 
t&ere was no whimpering; soldiers can not 
tight their best If the women wail, and 
battles are won by morale, not by guns. 

The good lady's' name? There were 
others, toe. In cohorts; thanks bo to them 
all, God bless them. This one was Mrs. 
Kelt:, the late Mrs. Duncan B. Reld, first 
lady school trustee. 1B0&. of Vancouver; 
l*u passed aw*# hut month. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_103 


M 'Ptmcan. RoJeftek Reid., ft't*tla4» school board tvushe, '?■/* 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 04 


Mrs. Duncan Roderick Reid. First lady school trustee. Socks for soldiers, Great 

A tall stately lady of dignified carriage, gowned in white, a crown of snow white hair, and, despite her 85 
years, firm of tread and figure erect, straight almost as an arrow, invited me to her home. She was 
busying herself with flowers upon the lawn when I arrived at her daughter's residence, 3263 West 2 nd 
Avenue (Mrs. W.E. Draney) one summer's afternoon, 28 July 1932. She is a pioneer of 1884. 

A compilation of the average height and weight of our pioneer men and women, an impossibility at this 
late date, would unquestionably have proven them to have been, with rare exceptions, a body of tall, well 
built people of powerful physique. Mrs. Reid must have been a splendid specimen of feminine physique in 
her young days; even today she is an apt portrait of that mental and bodily vigour which found expedients 
for all the difficulties of pioneer problems. 

Old Granville in 1884. 

"Old Granville, said Mrs. Reid, (nee Christina Campbell) "I first saw in October 16 th 1884; a very small 
place in the trees. Mr. Reid and I, with the children, arrived here from Prince Edward Island. My children 
at that time were Jemima and Mary Belle (Minnie); those born here afterwards were Alexander Campbell 
and Frederick James. 

"At first we went to live in a shack in the bushes owned by Mr. Coldwell. It was somewhere back of Water 
Street, probably on or near where Abbott Street is now; we had to take what shelter offered." 

(Note: the Voters List of 1 886 shows Mr. Chas. V. Coldwell as owner of the southwest corner of Abbott 
Street and Water Street.) 

Pender Street in 1884. 

"Later, in 1884, we built a two-storey house, pretentious enough for those days, but most modest by 
present day standards, on Pender Street, west of the C.P.R. crossing recently removed now that they are 
using the new tunnel. That was before the C.P.R. line from Burrard Inlet to the Roundhouse was built. We 
picked our way to our home down a little track or trail running twixt bushes, over roots and stones, finally 
to stoop to pass under the trunk of a great fir which lay prostrate across the trail almost right at our door. 
The trail went from what is now Hastings Street, then like Hastings Street and Pender too, unnamed, 
close to — after it was built after the Great Fire — the C.P.R. Hotel; a hotel facing north on Hastings Street 
midway between Carrall and Abbott. Mr. Reid afterwards sold the property to McLennan, McFeely for a 
hardware warehouse site. " 

Water from wells. 

"We drew our drinking water from a well on the lot, and we cut our wood for cooking on the same lot, too; 
our own lot. 

"You must remember that I am speaking of forty or more years ago, and it is difficult to recall with 

Interjection: Excepting the Great Fire. 

Continuing, "Excepting the Great Fire; while life lasts we shall never forget that." 

The Great Fire. 

"It was all over in forty-five minutes. It started somewhere 'up on the hill,' up in the direction of the Hotel 
Vancouver, and swept through like a flash. We had become more or less used to the smoke of the 
clearing fires, and did not take much notice of it; perhaps that was how it was that we got so little warning. 
I was dressing the eldest child for Sunday school at the Presbyterian Church, on Cordova Street and lane 
west of Westminster Avenue," (Main Street) "which the Rev. Thompson, the pastor, had dedicated the 
Sunday before. 

"It was a Sunday afternoon, Mr. Reid was lying down upstairs, I was dressing the child, when a stranger 
came to the door and we were told that we should be burned out in ten minutes. Pender Street was, well, 
I suppose you would call it 'graded'; that part of Vancouver was very wet and swampy; anyway, there was 


a ditch beside the rough roadway to our house, and we all got into that ditch, children and all; Mrs. W.E. 
Draney was one, and myself too, and Mr. Reid covered us with blankets as best he could; that saved us, I 
think. The fire practically passed over us; the truth is awful to contemplate even now; but it is a fact that 
great holes, the size of a dish pan, were burned in those blankets as we lay in the ditch under them; Mrs. 
Draney's hair was partly burned from her head; she was just a child then; about 1 8 months old. We were 
saved by Mr. Reid and the stranger wetting the blankets in a deeper part of the ditch and changing them 
as quickly as they could. Mr. Reid's hat and coat were burned off him. Men were actually burned to death 
within a few yards of where we lay. The ground was very dry." 

Relics of the fire. 

"Our house was completely destroyed; we saved nothing except an iron saucepan; we have that yet, a 
family heirloom to be handed down to posterity, probably," (and Mrs. Reid smiled) "the only saucepan 
saved from the Vancouver fire. Mrs. Draney wants to have it gilded with gold, but I say, 'No,' it must be 
preserved as it is, but I would not mind them engraving its history on it so that its identity might not be 
lost. Oh, yes, we saved the sewing machine too; I think the slippery varnish prevented the sparks and 
flames from catching. All Vancouver, well, perhaps not all, but a good many, afterwards used that sewing 
machine for sewing tents and clothes, etc. 

"They say that the Regina Hotel was the only building which escaped destruction. That there were others 
on the outskirts is well known, but one which I have never heard mentioned as escaping destruction was 
the single little shack occupied by a sick old bachelor just a few yards west of our house; he used to come 
over and get a little yeast from me, now and again, to make his bread. 

"A print dress, just a flimsy thing, was all I wore as we hurried into the ditch, and one slipper, that and, 
what odd things one may do in a moment of intense excitement, a silk umbrella. When the fire went down 
we made our way through the smouldering embers to Mr. Peter Cordiner's home at the Hastings Mill, and 
when I arrived down there I had my silk umbrella under my arm. Poor Dr. Beckingsale, he saved nothing 
excepting two, not just one, but two small hatchets; how he came to make that choice I do not recall, but 
others did equally as odd things. 

"We stayed at Mr. Cordiner's home until our house was rebuilt." 

Survey of C.P.R. lands. 

"Mr. Reid, my husband, was one of the group of men who surveyed the C.P.R. grant, that is, broadly 
speaking, lands between English Bay and Hastings and Burrard Inlet and the North Arm of the Fraser, but 
the work I most especially recall was the survey of the centre of the city. So far as I now recall the survey 
party included L.A. Hamilton, and who did, I think, private surveying afterwards; John Leask, brother-in- 
law to Mr. Hamilton, and whose widow is still living at Collingwood, Ontario; D.R. Reid, my husband, who 
was head lineman; C. Gardner Johnson, afterwards well known in Vancouver as Lloyd's Agent; and an 
officer in the old 6 th Regiment, D.C.O.R., Jack Stewart, afterwards Major-General in the Great War; 'Dad' 
Cameron, fireman in charge of the fire engine of the fire brigade; Louis, a Frenchman who was axeman; 
Archie McCrimmon, axeman; nine in all, I think. 

"Mr. Jack Leask, whilst engaged in blazing survey lines between Carrall Street and Westminster Avenue" 
(Main Street) "in the heavy timber, got lost, and a survey party spent all afternoon in searching for him." 

The Indian (Methodist) Church. St. James Church on Beach. Methodist parsonage. 

"I have no recollection of any Indian church, not in my day; I do not see how there could have been in 
1884." (Note: a statement which indicates that the Indian church erected in 1875 was no longer a 
prominent institution.) "In 1884 we held our prayer meetings in the living room of the Methodist 
parsonage, the only parsonage at that time, and our Sunday services in the Presbyterian denomination, 
but in 1884 the Presbyterians here were too few to form a congregation; the Anglicans were the only 
denomination strong enough for that; so when we went to church, as you may call it, we all went to the 
Methodist services held in the Public School at the Hastings Mill. The Rev. Joseph Hall was minister. I 
recall the Methodist parsonage very well; a two-storey building facing the water and close to the shore, 
verandah both back and front, the whole enclosed in a small clearing on the water's edge. We went along 
a narrow trail and entered from the front door on the water side; the stable was west of the parsonage; 
beyond the stable I cannot recall anything save trees and bushes. Afterwards the first Methodist Hall was 


built east of the parsonage, and was destroyed in the Great Fire. If there had been a church building, 
what necessity would there have been to hold the services or prayer meetings in a sitting room at the 
parsonage or the school at the mill?" 

(Note: the Indian church was actually there, and was destroyed in the Fire. See Theo. Bryant, son of Rev. 

"The little English church" (St. James; see panorama of Vancouver before the fire, and also Hastings 
Road photo) "stood about the foot of Columbia Avenue." (Rev. Ditchan, and afterwards Father Clinton.) 

"I don't know what became of the little Indian church; perhaps the Indians gradually lost interest in the 
Methodist denomination. You see, the Roman Catholics were at North Vancouver on the Indian Reserve; 
the ornaments and ceremony of the Roman Catholics might have had a stronger appeal to the Indians 
than the less formal services of the Methodists; perhaps the Indian congregation had gradually dwindled; 
perhaps the absence of a permanent Indian missionary, and the presence of a permanent minister to the 
white population of Methodists had something to do with it, and so the Indian congregation gradually 
dwindled. I should not like to say that the Rev. Mr. Hall converted it into a stable, nor do I recall the 
erection of the stable. The stable was not a large building, but large enough for two cows and a horse and 
a hayloft." (See Mrs. Emily Eldon.) "If the Indian church stood west of the parsonage," (Note: it did.) 
"something must have happened to it." 

Burrard Inlet congregation of Methodist Church. 

It was explained to Mrs. Reid that Land Registry records show that on 12 April 1877, lots 14 and 15, Old 
Granville Townsite, on which the parsonage and hall stood in 1886, were conveyed to seven trustees of 
the Burrard Inlet congregation of the Methodist Church of Canada, and that the names of William Soule 
and Peter Cordiner were among the seven. 

"William Soule," said Mrs. Reid, "was Church of England; Peter Cordiner was Presbyterian. The Rev. 
CM. Tate is probably quite correct in saying that it was necessary to accept as trustees of the Methodist 
church proper by persons who were not Methodists; there were insufficient numbers of men of 
responsibility to act as trustees. Peter Cordiner was a splendid man, and it would have been quite like 
him to sink any particular preference which he personally may have had in the general interest." 

The first lady school trustee. 

"It was on January 1 3 th 1 898 that I was elected the first woman school trustee on the Vancouver School 
Board. An act had just been passed by the Provincial Legislature which permitted women to sit on school 
boards, and I was asked to offer myself for election. I had been a resident of Vancouver longer than most 
women, had taken a more or less active part in church, political and civic affairs, and when friends asked 
me to offer myself I acceded to their request. That the invitation was generally approved of by the 
electors — men at that time — is proven by the fact that I was elected at the top of the poll. I served two 
years, but I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed the experience. I had something to do with the obtaining 
of the Sir William Macdonald endowment for manual training for schools, was among the first advocates 
for the teaching of domestic science in schools, and with the affiliation of the Vancouver High School" 
(Cambie and Dunsmuir) "with McGill University, and was appointed a governor of the college." 

Socks for the soldiers. Great War. 

During the Great War, Mrs. Reid, then aged between 67 and 71 , was president of Ward 3 branch of the 
Red Cross Society, and herself knitted hundreds of pairs of socks for soldiers. Her daughters state she 
knitted over four hundred pairs (equal to almost one pair every four days), an achievement surpassed by 
one person only in Vancouver. 

First boy born in Vancouver after it became a city. 

"My son, Alexander Campbell Reid," said Mrs. Reid, "was the first boy born in Vancouver after it was 
incorporated as a city." 

Mrs. Reid was born in Belfast, Prince Edward Island. 

Read to, and approved by Mrs. Reid, August 1932. JSM. 


Manual training in schools. 

Mrs. Reid writes, 6 March 1 933: "About 1 898, I saw through the daily papers, that Sir William Macdonald, 
the tobacco king, a native of P.E.I." (her husband was a P.E.I.-er) "was endowing a manual training 
school in the capital cities of each province. I being a native of P.E.I, and on the school board, wrote him 
saying that Vancouver was much bigger than Victoria. He replied and sent a pamphlet saying that he 
would be very pleased to give it to Vancouver." 

Affiliation with McGill University. 

"About the same time, a number of our High School students" (old High School on Dunsmuir Street) "were 
ready for university, and their parents could not afford to send them away. So I, as school trustee, along 
with my other colleagues, started arrangements with McGill which was very shortly completed, and 
enabled the students to take two years course at home. This was the time that the late Dr. McGuigan and 
myself were appointed governors." 

Christina Reid. 

Early Lacrosse in British Columbia. 

Conversation with James A. Smith, moving picture censor, and Mrs. Smith, at their residence, 5826 
Sperling Avenue, Vancouver, 14 May 1932. 

"It must have been about the 21 st or 22 nd May 1888," said Mr. Smith. "We, that is, my brother David and I, 
had arrived in Vancouver from Winnipeg on the previous 5 th April, and had started a little store where we 
sold carpets on Water Street, north side, opposite the Carter house — the back part of the store was over 
the water of the inlet — the rats used to climb the piles at the back and reach the platform — when Mr. A.E. 
Suckling, sobriquet 'Bony,' now of the Vancouver Breweries Limited, and Mr. J.B. Simpson, sobriquet 
'Simmy,' came and asked if we would play lacrosse. I had known Mr. Suckling, had played lacrosse with 
him in Winnipeg, and he knew that both Dave and I could play; all three of us were keen lacrosse men in 
Winnipeg. Mr. Suckling had been arranging a game with some men in Victoria, and on the Queen's 
Birthday that year we went over to Victoria and played, to my belief, the first game of lacrosse played in 
British Columbia. Mr. Suckling was undoubtedly the father of lacrosse in British Columbia. The game was 
played on Beacon Hill, and we won. 

"At the time the Victoria people were without a lacrosse team, and it was as a result of Mr. Suckling's 
endeavours that this game was played; he had been in correspondence with Mr. W.G. McKenzie, at that 
time of Victoria, afterwards manager of the old hardware firm, Wood, Vallance and Leggat Ltd., here. 

"On Dominion Day that year the Victoria team came over from Victoria to Vancouver, and played a return 
game. This time they won, but sometime in the fall we again went to Victoria, and by winning that game, 
became the first lacrosse champions in British Columbia. 

"At that time the Westminster people took little or no interest in lacrosse, at any rate, they had no lacrosse 
team. I forget the exact date but sometime the following spring we went over to New Westminster and 
played against a team gathered together somehow on a couple of lots; I don't just know but it was near a 
judge's residence. I doubt if the 'field' was larger than 1 00 feet by 1 00 feet, and there were a number of 
small stumps scattered about it. We had to loan the Westminster team two or three men so that they 
could play, and also some equipment. From that time on, lacrosse prospered in New Westminster; the 
Westminster boys took to the game; the thing grew. Among those whom I recall was Jack Whyte, 
afterwards Lt. Col. J.C. Whyte and warden of the Penitentiary; and W. Cullen, the King's Printer; whole 
families took to it, for instance, there were the Peele boys, the Giffords, and the Rennies." 

Query: What killed it? 

"Professionalism; lacrosse thrives as an amateur game only." 

Query: Is there any truth in the story which A.E. Beck tells that the New Westminster lacrosse team got 
the nickname "Salmonbellies" on the Cambie Street grounds? 

"Well, we named them that, and I presume that was how it was; very likely." 


Lost in the Kerrisdale forest. 

"It must have been a week, perhaps ten days after we arrived, that I decided that I would do a little 
shooting, so I took my gun and started off across False Creek, crossing the False Creek bridge at 
Westminster Avenue, went towards Mount Pleasant a little piece, and then turned west on a trail going 
towards the Leamy and Kyle Mill, just west of Cambie Street. The trail was just a trail through the forest; it 
was all trees, forest everywhere at that time, why, over in the 'West End' there was a quarter of a mile of it 
from Coal Harbour to English Bay which was cut down a year or so later. Anyway I followed the trail, from 
Westminster Avenue down as far as the mill — I think the trail led on to Jericho; I think it crossed Granville 
Street about 7 th Avenue, and then went down to Kitsilano Beach and Point Grey Road — anyway, after I 
got to Leamy and Kyle's mill, I took a logging road up the hill into the woods. I shot a grouse, and kept on, 
and the first thing I knew I was lost. You know how logging trails vanish into nowhere, and you cannot 
locate them again. The trees were high above me; I could not see; then it began to rain, and I could not 
tell by the sun which was north or anything else. It occurred to me that if I went downhill I must ultimately 
come to the sea, so I started to head downhill. Unfortunately for me — so I have since conjectured — the 
ground must have sloped west, for after considerable travel I came to a very steep slope, and slid down it 
for a good many yards. There is no such slope that I know of, and I know Vancouver well, which exists 
other than the one where the B.C. Electric interurban tram twists and turns past Strathcona, above 
Quilchena Golf Links on its way to Kerrisdale. I kept on, and soon struck a small rill with about two inches 
of water in it, and I followed that. I had to take to the middle of it, for both sides were lined with thistle. I 
kept on, and about five that evening struck the sea on English Bay near what is now the foot of Balaclava 
Street, about where Mrs. J.Z. Hall of 'Killarney' now lives; there was a cannery on the shore there. I had 
left Vancouver at 8 a.m., and it was getting on towards dusk. I was tired." 

Greer's Beach. 

"Once I struck the sea, of course, all was easy. I struck out along the shore, passed Sam Greer's cottage, 
a bit of a cottage which stood back of where the Kitsilano Bathhouse is now, and took to the C.P.R. 
tracks. A few yards from the beach, perhaps 100 yards, there was a sort of natural pond in the muskeg." 
(Note: between Maple Street and Laburnum.) "It was dusk, and in it were five fine ducks; I got three of 
them. I kept on, crossed the trestle bridge, and finally got to our house on Hastings Street, a few feet west 
of the present temporary City Hall in the Holden Building; that was when my eldest son Arthur was born." 

Sperling Avenue and 41 st Avenue, Kerrisdale. 

"It is difficult to credit, but it's fact just the same, that this avenue, Sperling, now with splendid residences, 
superb lawns, flowers, shrubs, concrete street with concrete curbs and walks, cannot be more than half a 
mile from where I was lost and slid down that slope. When we first came to Sperling Avenue, No. 5826, 
seven years ago, there was nothing more than a trail in the clearing from 41 st Avenue southwards. 
Building proceeded at a great pace for a year or several years; now it has practically ceased; one reason 
of course the lots are all built upon; another the difficult financial conditions. A little town has sprung up 
quite recently at 41 st Avenue and Granville Street; anyway, the corner lots are built upon, and recently the 
bus has started to run from there down Granville Street to the south." 




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Cambie Street grounds. Stanley Park. Mayor Oppenheimer. Alderman Hamilton. 
A.E. Beck, K.C. 

Copy of letter. 

Oak Tree House, 
Kissimmee, Florida. 
11 th April 1932. 

Dear Major: 

I duly received both your letters, and have read over Mr. Beck's article re the Cambie 
street playgrounds, [article, Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931] which is returned herewith. As far 
as my memory serves me the statements are in accordance with the facts. 

I have a lot of sketches of water colors made at the time when I was laying out the city. I 
will look them out at Toronto, and send you on such material as I think would be useful. 

REFERENCE TO THE CAMBIE STREET GROUNDS and Mr. Beck's reference to the 
visit to the Narrows reminds me that the great credit for securing the Indian [he means 
"government reserve," or Stanley Park] as a park has always been given to Mayor Oppenheimer. 
If the records were available it would show that the chief credit should be given to A.W Ross and 
Alderman Hamilton. We both worked together to attain this object, the former as an M.P. using 
his influence with the Dominion Government, and the latter with the Canadian Pacific Railway by 
getting the chief officials at Montreal to use their influence with the government of the day. You 
may not be aware that I personally surveyed and laid out the drives around the big park, and 
arranged with the engineer to use the shells on the shore [Note: not strictly described; they were 
from an old Indian midden on the shore at Lumberman's Arch, see old photographs, etc., etc.] to 
gravel the roads with. On one of our inspection trips the engineer and myself were nearly 
drowned by having our canoe upset in the Narrows in a tide rip. We both had a hard struggle to 
get the canoe ashore; then in our wet clothes on the bitterly cold evening, paddled all the way 
back to the Granville wharf. 

Yours very truly, 


P.S. Have you any record of the votes taken at the first election in Vancouver? I think that 
the city records were destroyed, [Note: in the Great Fire, 13 June 1886] but that information might 
be found in the New Westminster or Victoria papers of that date. 


Early parks and playgrounds. 

In the minutes of the City Council for 28 March 1 887, page 298, the Board of Works recommends (24 
March 1887) as follows: 

"That a committee consisting of Alderman Hamilton, Lefevre, and Oppenheimer be appointed to ascertain 
at what price the following blocks can be purchased for a city park, viz. 105 to 110 in District lots 196 and 
1 81 , or any other blocks in a suitable locality within the city limits. Carried." 

Grove Street, a short street of two blocks on the shore of False Creek between Jackson Avenue and 
Dunlevy Avenue formed the base line of a crescent-shaped street in the woods known as Grove 
Crescent, one half of the horn of the crescent forming block 1 05, and block 1 1 the other half. It is now 
part of Atlantic Street. 

A.E. Beck, K.C, who was largely responsible for the securing of Cambie Street grounds, states that this 
property was proposed as an alternative to the Cambie Street grounds property, afterwards secured. 
(See Council minutes 25 April 1887.) (See Matthews, Early Vancouver, 1931 .) 


W.H. Gallagher states that it got its name from either a squatter who lived there under the assumed name 
of Grove, or from the fact that there was a little green open space there, two or three butternut trees, a 
patch of timothy grass, old logs, bush all gone, perhaps a Royal Engineers' or logger's camp on the point. 
The point was a very pretty place, a sort of mound, the butternut trees hung over the water at high tide; 
there was an Indian medicine ditch there, and the agreeable old man named Grove lived in a shack on 
logs on the beach. Its picturesqueness suggested it as a playground; Cambie Street was a mass of black 

Grove Crescent. Early parks and playgrounds. Sentell. 

Of this spot, Mrs. P.S. Saville, now of 1 758 Venables Street, and sister to the three Sentell brothers who 
subsequently developed the point, says (November 1931): 

"When I first saw that point on False Creek, it was covered with vine maples, wild crab apples, wild peas, 
shalal berries, and a profusion of blackberries; we went there to pick blackberries in 1889; it looked as 
though there might have been an old Indian encampment there, and I have been told that there was an 
Indian medicine ditch there, a sort of Indian Turkish bath, where in a hole in the ground they sweated 
themselves to cure a cold or ailment by putting hot stones in the water and sitting beneath a covering 
enclosed over it. Some said it was where Indians tried their fellows for crime. 

"Then in 1890 my brother Alderman F.W. Sentell, bought the place at Grove Crescent. It was nothing 
when we went there; the bush was so thick you could not get through it. Our house, which was in the 
centre of block 1 09, faced south, looked over the waters of the creek, was slightly elevated on a bank 
which sloped gently down to the beach, and a popular bathing resort in summer time. The city promised 
my brother it would become a park; it was a delightful spot; he went ahead and cleared it, cleared the 
whole crescent at his own expense, spent an immense amount of time on it, put down a sidewalk, planted 
apple trees to the west of our house, cherries to the east, built a fine home, and for years it was an 
outstanding landmark for it was large and was painted white, and showed up well in the beautiful 
surroundings of green, and he was promised it would be a park, and never anything else; we had cut it 
out of the bush. 

"Then all our hopes were dashed. First they put a septic tank for city sewers; we did all we could to stop 
it, but it was put in and finished. Finally it was wanted for Canadian Northern Railway yards; my brothers 
got $100,000" (?) "for one acre in the ex-appropriation proceedings. The fine old house was torn down in 
1912. It was a beautiful house, wonderfully finished, for my brothers were contractors and builders. I lived 
there in 1 896, -7 and -8, at the time of the Klondike rush." 

The City Hall on Powell Street. 

"My brothers built the City Hall on Powell Street, and when it was finished the city could not pay for it, so 
my brothers locked the doors, and would not let the city officials enter. 

"We came here on 2 November 1887; my brothers had worked on railway construction. I forget the first 
building they erected, but the second was 417 Hastings Street East — next to the brick house — it is 
standing yet. Then my brothers, E.B., A.J. and F.W. Sentell built the tabernacle for Dr. Moody, of Moody 
and Sankey hymn book fame, evangelists, when he visited Vancouver in the fall of 1888. The tabernacle 
was built either on the Cambie Street grounds or where the old City Hospital was on Pender Street. My 
sister and I sang in the Moody choir. E.B. was one of the trustees of the Y.M.C.A. who guaranteed Dr. 
Moody's expenses." 

Stanley Park Driveway. 

"One thing about Stanley Park I recall very vividly. On 1 July 1898 we rowed over; the bridge was not built 
then; and walked along the park road, or driveway; it was all mud then." 

Note: there is a photo of the Sentell home in the records. 
















ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 08 


Second motor car in Vancouve r 

steam raised by p.asoline * 
Owned by Fen ton Bros, about 1904 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 09 


Power; steam raised by gasoline flame, purchased about 1904 for $200 from Judge Spinks, Vernon, B.C. 
who probably imported it, by Alex and the late William Fenton, who appears in the car with his mother, 
602 Grove Street, Vancouver. After about two years use on streets of Vancouver, sold by them to a Mr. 
Myers. Stated to have been the second automobile in Vancouver, the first having been owned by Mr. 
Armstrong of the firm of Armstrong and Morrison. 


Some early trails. 

Salisbury, son of W.F. Salisbury, treasurer of C.P.R. in early days: "The only remnant of the old trail to 
English Bay now remaining" (1932) "is where it crosses in a southwest-northeast direction across a 
vacant lot at the northwest corner of Nelson Street directly in front of the Nelson Street fire hall." 

A city employee, name unknown, 21 December 1 931 , whilst tearing down the tower of the old City Hall: 

"I built the first house in the district just close around 8 th Avenue, Yukon Street and Columbia Street in 
1900, the spring; just a three-room shack; got the lumber cheap from the old" (Leamy and Kyle) "mill at 
the southern end of the Cambie Street bridge, and dragged it up to my place on a stone boat. The city 
used to give us stumping powder free, but it took five years to clear the little patch. There was a single 
track street car on 9 th Avenue then, and once we blew out a stump, as big as 'a house,' it went cavorting 
over in the air, and landed on the street car rails, and we had to get a man to come and help us draw it off 
the street car line. Used lots of powder, supplied free by city. Our little house was all cedar, cost $65, 
three rooms, stove pipe, no chimney, bricks too costly. When we went down to the City Hall to ask where 
the road was they did not seem to know, and told us to build our house 'facing the mountains.' There was 
salmon in the creek which ran through our property. I had to build a great big culvert, three or four feet 
square; in a storm it was a big creek; culvert still there. I used to amuse myself watching the snakes on 
the edge of the creek with necks craned like swans, then there would be a lightening jab, and they 
hooked out a little fish from the creek." 

Wild cattle in Stanley Park. 

Mrs. S.W. Handy, P.O. Box 71 , Chapman's Camp, 19 and 29 August 1932. Letters: 

"I got into my skiff, and rowed over to the" (Deadman's) "Island, when (by the time I arrived there) the 
whole town was gone. I have marked the place on the map where I lived" (at the mouth of the small creek 
just east of the entrance to Stanley Park.) "Also where the man Anderson lived right opposite Deadman's 
Island, and Dutch Pete, just on the other side. Then at the head of the Bay" (head of Lost Lagoon), "was a 
man and his wife with two daughters. The man's name was Proctor." (Note: Dr. Langis says Proctor was 
living at one time in Morton's old shack and getting out spars for the British navy.) "As for the town I can 
hardly say with any certainty for I was only fifteen years of age. I do know that all that was left of the town 
was Alexander's house and the old sawmill and one church. 

"Yes. There was a trail over to English Bay and also there was an old cow that went wild in there, and had 
a bull calf, then from them there was a herd of cattle numbering eight, so I was afraid to wander much in 
the woods." 

Letter, 29 August 1932: "The cattle lived in the reserve now known as Stanley Park. Yes, you have 
marked the place correctly, also there was a tree felled across the point where the arrow points" (the site 
of the first bridge.) "I do not known what happened to them but heard that the government had them shot 
as they were very wild and dangerous. 

"My dear old husband has been so very sick, and has just passed away, Aug. 15 th , so I have not read 



ltem# EarlyVan_v2_110 







A Story About a Pioneer Teen-Age Girl 

Send subscription* to Periodical Department 


199 Queen St. W., Toronto 2, Oat. 

TORONTO, MARCH 17, 1934 

' was a bright morning in August of 1890. 
|The sun beat down on the parched land, 
and the flies buzzed incessantly. Every 
passing wagon and buggy raised clouds of 
yellow dust. Annie was thankful when she 
reached the edge of the little city of New 
Westminster and could plunge into the 
delicious coolness of the forest through which 
ran the road to Gastown, or rather Vancouver, 
to give it its recently -acquired official name. 

She was feeling light-hearted this morning. 
Perhaps it was the reaction from the worry 
of the past week. Her mother, who had 
been ill for some time, suddenly took a turn 
for the worse. The doctor had looked very 
grave when he told Annie that she would 
have to be moved from their home on the 
banks of the Fraser River out to the sea- 

"She must have fresh, clean air, and it 
must be soon. This heat and dust is killing 
her," was his verdict, 

Annie could still remember that queer, 
sinking feeling she had felt inside her when 
she heard this. So far, this thirteen-year-old 
pioneer girl had managed to look after her 
family since her hard-working mother had 
fallen ill, but to do more than just that 
seemed quite impossible. The sea-coast was 
fourteen miles away through the forest. 
Business was booming in Vancouver, the 
coast town, and it was practically impossible 
to get a house. Builders could not keep up 
with the demand. How could she get shelter 
for her mother and younger brother and 
sister? How could they live once there? 
Their savings were getting low. 

For a lest" days the future seemed very 
black, but Annie was used to overcoming 
difficulties and, after the first moments of 
despair, she went resolutely to work to 
solve her problem. Obviously, the first 
thing to do was to get a house. To get one 
in the town was impossible, but diligent 
questioning brought to light the fact that a 
family by the name of Simpson ow L ned a 
logger's hut on English Bay, and would be 
glad to have it occupied to keep their title 
to the land, 

Annie was now r on her way to look over 
this building and see what could be done 
with it. Rising very early, she had arranged 
for a neighbor to look after her mother and 
the younger children w r hile she trudged the 
long road to English Bay. which was south 
across the peninsula from Vancouver. Owing 
to the danger from wild animals and the 
impossibility of crossing the marshy ground 
by False Creek, she had to take the long 
road, which went first north-west to Van- 
couver and then south-west to the beach at 
English Bay. 

It was a delightful hike. After she had 
passed a desolate stretch that had been 
burned a few years before, the tall cedars 
and maples interlocked their branches so 
tightly above the road that in many places 
she could hardly see the blue of the sky. 
A few robins chirped cheerily in the trees, 
and overhead sounded the harsh squawk 
of the sea-gulls. Once a startled doe w-ith its 
speckled fawn paused to look at her before it 
darted gracefully away. She stopped when 
she began to feel tired and, resting on one of 
the rocks around which the road curled, 
refreshed herself by eating the salmon- 
berries and the huckleberries which gTew 
wild there. How she wished she had some 
one with her to talk about the interesting 
things along the way! 

As she neared Vancouver, she could hear 
the clop, clop, clop of the logger's axe. 
Already they had made considerable inroads 
into this vast forest. It seemed almost 
wicked to cut down those beautiful big trees. 
Suddenly she heard the sound of wheels 
ahead, and a lumbering wagon came into 
view around a bend in the road. The road 
was so narrow' she had to plunge into the 
bushes at the side to let it pass. If only it 
had been going towards Vancouver! She 
might have got a ride the rest of the way. 

The driver saluted her respectfully as he 
passed. She smiled back and dropped a 
slight curtsey. As she climbed hack on the 
road, she looked ruefully at her skirt and 
shoes. They were white with dust! 

"It is well that I wore my oldest clothes," 
she said to herself, trying to brush the worst 
of the dust away. "Although I did want to 
have them on and look nice when I was 
going through Vancouver!" 

She wished she had time to stop in the 
town to visit some of the girls she knew 
there, and perhaps look at the pretty things 
at Hastings Mill Store, but it was nearly 
noon, and she had quite a long way to go 
yet. So, with shining eyes taking in all the 
exciting things going on as she passed, she 
walked sedately through the town along the 

board sidewalks that stood on stilts above the 
marshy ground. 

Once past the Hotel Vancouver, the trail 
ran through the section that had been 
burned a few years previously, when fire had 
destroyed the whole town. Already nature 
was covering the black waste, and fireweed, 
salmonberries, huckleberries and other bushes 
crowded around the blackened stumps. 
Here and there a tali, gaunt trunk outlined 
its white arms against the sky, but most of 
the district was green. There was no shade, 
however, and the sun was pitilessly hot. It 
was a relief to reach thestandingtimberagain. 

MARCH 17, l°34 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 1 1 

It was past noon - when Annie arrived at 
Simpson's shack. Walking past the building, 
she went out on the short stretch of sandy 
beach, which was ovcrshaded by maple trees 
and edged with beds of kelp. What a pretty 
view! The blue waters of the bay and the 
green trees of Kitsilano Indian Reserve were 
before her. To her right was the mystery 
that is Stanley Park, and, beyond, on the 
horizon, the blue mountains of the Gulf 
Islands. She breathed deeply of the salt 
sea air. Surely that would help her mother. 
She was very hungry by this time, but she 
was too impatient to survey her future home 
to stop to eat just yet. The shack had live 
small, box-like rooms. Everything was rather 
neglected, but that could be easily fixed. 
As she went from room to room she planned 
the placing o( their meagre furniture. This 
room overlooking the beach would be her 
mother's. She would get the sun all day 
an d t he b reeze off the water. The back room, 
with the door to the outside, would be the 
best for the kitchen. What would they do 
for a stove? 

She pushed back her hair from her forehead 
and wrinkled her brow in thought. They 
couldn't afford to buy one and have it brought 
away out there. As she walked over to the 
door, her eyes fell on a flat rock near by. 
Would that do? Why not? She had often 
watched the Indians cook on big stones. 
She felt sure that she could do it as well as 
they did. There was a hollow in it already. 
So, tired though she was, Annie planned for 
the future. 

It was late when she reached home that 
night. The kindly neighbor had put the 
children to bed, but her mother was anxiously 
listening for her return. 

"You are late, my child. Are you all 

Annie turned up the wick in the coal-oil 
lamp to stop it smoking, and smiled down 
at die white-faced woman on the bed. 

" I am very tired, mother, but everything 
is arranged. We are moving out next week 
to Simpson '5 shack on English Bay. You will 
get better there, mother, dearest. Your 
window faces south over the beach, and it all 
smells so clean and fresh. " 

Her mother moved wearily among the 
"I hope it does all you expect, Annie. 

It's so hard for you when I have to lie here 
so much. " 

The girl bent swiftly over her mother. 

"Don't worry about me, mother," she 
whispered. "All we want is for you to get 
well. We'll be all right." 

The next week was a very busy one. She 
had to make many arrangements for the 
transfer of her family and their household 
goods to their new home. With the helpol 
friendly neighbors, however, they wen] 
ready at last, and one fine morning saw them 
finally on their way. Her mother and the 
younger children rode, while Annie trudged 
sturdily behind the wagon that carried their 
furniture and baggage. 


They reached f he BcacfTjust before sunset. 
The children were wild with delight at the 
beach and the forest, but her mother was too 
sick and weary to pay much attention to her 
surroundings. Beds were hastily put up r 
and the sick woman was settled first of all. 
She fell asleep almost immediately, leaving 
Annie free todo what was necessary that night. 

It was late when she finished, I ter 
mother and the children w'ere sleeping 
soundly. Much of the furniture was tem- 
porarily in place. She felt too tired to do 
any more. Leaving one lone candle lit; 
she crept outside quietly and sat on a big 
rock to watch the reflection of the moon on 
the water and dream about the future. 
What plans she had! She wondered a little 
wistfully if her dreams would ever come 
true. She was so sleepy she could hardly 
keep her eyes open. She caught herself 
dozing off several times, but it was to pretty 
outside and so restful with the night wind 
whispering through the trees h she hated to 
go in and get into bed. 

The next few days Annie spent in scrubbing 
the shack thoroughly and arranging their 
belongings. The big stone outside proved 
an excellent place for cooking, so she gave 
up all idea of bringing in a stove from 

Once they were settled, she began to 
consider the future. She was worried about 
the coming winter, and cast about for some 
means of making a little extra money. It 
would probably be easy for her to get work in 

English Kay beach was already well known 
in the district, and quite a few people came 
there to bathe. Annie, while watching some 
bathers there one day h suddenly saw a chance 
to make some money. If the people had a 
bathhouse where they could change their 
clothes, probably many more would come! 

From slabs and driftwood that was 
scattered along the shore, she built a small 
shelter. It was roughly done h for she had 
few tools, but it was sufficient for the purpose. 
She rented it at five cents a person, with a 
maximum charge of ten cents for a family. 
The bathers, glad of an opportunity to help 
Some one out while serving their own con- 
venience, used it a great deal and the beach 
became quite popular. 

Big Joe Fortes, a colored man who worked 
at one of the hotels in Vancouver, spent 
most of his spare time at the beach, appoint- 
ing himself life-guard and keeper of the peace. 
He made a big rock near the water's edge the 
dividing line between the men and the 
women, as there was no mixed bathing in 
those days, and enforced his ru I in g. He 
greatly admired the brave youngster who 
was trying so hard to take care of her family, 
and by doing many smalt jobs for her, helped 
to make her burden easier. 

With the complete change, her mother's 
health improved, considerably, and for a 
while it seemed a^lmugh she would get well 
ami strong again. But they had waited too 
long to move, and late one winter night she 
£ed, leaving Annie In sole charge of the two 
younger children. For a while Annie was 
stunned with grief, but gradually her plucky 
nature asserted itself, and she squared her 
small shoulders to meet this new r burden. 

They lived in the shack at English Bay for 
two years more, before moving into Van- 
couver w here , a few years later, Annie 
married. She is Still Living in Vancouver, and 
her beach is a beautiful place that is thronged 
every summer with tourists from all over the 
worid a as. well as the residents ol the city she 
watched grow from a boom town to the third 
largest city in Canada, 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_112 


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Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 1 5 


English Bay bathing beach. Capt. and Mrs. Percy Nye. Old Joe Fortes. First 
bathing pavilion, etc. 

Mrs. Percy Nye, 1 8 February 1 932, proof corrected and returned by her 5 April 1 932. 

"As I first saw it in 1890, English Bay Beach was just 'another beach' with a small clearing behind on a 
forest shore. The two oil paintings which we have, and which you have had photographed, very truly 
represent it as it was. The paintings were made from two Christmas cards, painted from memory by my 
father, Mr. W.T. Mackay, and sent to me by him from Ireland." 

Note: Capt. and Mrs. Nye and their sons now own and operate a garage at the corner of Cambie Street 
and 5 th Avenue West. 

Mrs. Nye continued: "The cottage, or rough shack, because that was what it really was, had once been 
the abode of the loggers who logged off the West End in earlier days, and from whom the Simpsons of 
English Bay had bought it for fifty dollars. It stood on high ground between the sandy shore and what is 
now known as Beach Avenue, then but a narrow dirt trail, a buggy's width wide, overgrown on both sides 
with salmonberry bushes which brushed the buggy wheels as you drove along; terribly dusty in summer 
and terribly muddy in winter. It stood just a few feet to the west of the present Denman Street, and a 
sloping path, just a deer trail, ran down the bank to the beach in almost the identical location of the 
present descent between the two concrete bathhouses. 

"A small creek, which drained the swamp up around Nicola Street" (see Corporal Turner's map, 
"Brickmakers Claim," 1862) " — a swamp on the hillside below the high ground between Robson and 
Davie Street — ran into the sea from a small ravine at the foot of Comox Street, but the loggers had drawn 
their water from a well at the back of where the Williams afterwards lived" (see elsewhere); "the water out 
of the swamp was not good; too brown. 

"In 1890, just after my thirteenth birthday — I was born in August 1877 — we were living in New 
Westminster. Mother was ill; the doctor recommended sea air; father was working. So one day I walked 
over from New Westminster and back again the same day, located the cottage, rented it from a Mr. 
Hudson who was batching there — holding it for the Simpsons who were afraid that the city might seize it, 
and so kept it occupied. Mr. Hudson wanted to get away; he was afterwards engineer on one of the 
earlier Cocos Island treasure hunts. We moved over immediately. I walked behind the wagon bringing the 
furniture; Mother died in the cottage the same year, 1890, and is buried in Mountain View. I vividly recall 
the little shack of a house at the entrance of the Cemetery; the pig sty at the rear, and the graves all 
around. We remained in the shack at English Bay two summers and three winters, and left to live at 717 
Nicola Street in, I think it must have been 1894; it was in the spring. Simpsons had acquired the shack 
from the loggers, but were having trouble over the land, or some rights, and we occupied it for them while 
they were down east; held it, as it were." 

Note: the meaning of this is not understood at this moment, but it may have some connection with some 
dispute in which the fact that John Morton, William Hailstone and Sam Brighouse received a larger 
acreage (550) than 480 acres, that is, three preemptions of 160 acres each. Judge Howay has knowledge 
of some occurrence of interest in connection with West End. The three men had received the crown grant 
to all land between Burrard Street and Stanley Park in 1867. 

The first bathing pavilion. English Bay bathing beach. 

Mrs. Nye continues: "It was the Simpsons who built the first 'bathing pavilion' at English Bay, a little bit of 
a shanty of boards on end on the sand, with a tiny window and a board door, just as the painting shows it, 
and they made a small charge for its use. It was on the west side of the little sloping path, probably an 
early Indian trail up from the sand, and not more than a few feet from the present sloping path to the 
beach at the foot of Denman Street. 

"Afterwards I built a smaller shed for the same purpose, a little more to the west. I picked up driftwood on 
the shore, bits of boards and shingles, and built it with my own hands. You see, we were rather hard 
pressed. Mother had been ill, very ill, and died; times were severe, and child as I was, I had learned to be 
resourceful. I used to charge five cents per person and ten cents per family to use my little shed, and 
made sufficient money that I bought a watch with it, and have the watch yet." (1932.) "Women and 


children from the town used it to undress and dress in. The present bathhouse, the older one, the one to 
the west of Denman Street, now stands on exactly the site of my old bathing shed or shack. 

"Just around the corner of the shack in which we lived, and at the rear, was a big flat stone, a big boulder 
with a flat top, and on it I used to cook. We were without a stove; it was hard to get a 'rig'" (wagon) "to 
bring one out. You had to 'dicker' with a driver to get him to go out there from town; he did not want to go 
so far out in the woods on a bad trail. The big stone was a couple of feet high — that saved me from 
stooping — and it had a flat top and a sort of basin in the middle. I used to cook on it, Indian fashion. 

"The two children shown in the painting, on the swing, are supposed to be my brother Horace and my 
sister Maud, and the big stone — it was a most enormous rock — we used to spread out our clothes to dry 
upon that, or climb up on the top for fun." 

Old "Joe" Fortes. Separate bathing. 

"Another big rock was on the shore about three hundred feet east of Denman Street, and was the dividing 
line between the men and the women's bathing limits. We had separate bathing in those days, the 
women and children had west of the big rock, and the use of the two little bathhouses, and the men east 
of the big rock. Ha, ha, ha," laughed Mrs. Nye, and tossed her head, "and any man who broke the rule 
had to watch out too. There was always some big men down at the beach, and if any men intruded past 
the big stone — into the women's part — others would soon come and get him and give him a big swift kick. 
Old Joe Fortes, whose monument is now at English Bay, was bartender at the Sunnyside Hotel, and used 
to come down about once a week, and spend his afternoons off duty at the beach. At first, I presume he 
came for his own enjoyment, but he came regularly, and was so agreeable and pleasant that we began to 
expect and watch for his coming. Of course, he had no salary; he was just a great big black man; that 
was how Joe started at English Bay. If anything went wrong — any of the men intruded into the women's 
part — there would be a great big halloo, and Joe would come along and haul the intruder back into the 
men's part. 

"In the other oil painting which you have had photographed — looking out towards Point Grey — the cottage 
is our shack at the foot of Denman Street, the smaller building is the logger's old pigsty, which the 
Simpsons converted into a glass house before we went there; both were 'raw' sort of buildings." 

The trail through the stumps (West End). 

"When we went to town from English Bay we cut across country by a foot path, through the trees to about 
as far as Davie Street and then through the stumps of the clearing to about as far as Captain Mellon's 
house, old Captain Mellon, examiner of Masters and Mates, who, with his wife, started the Art, Historical 
Society" (Vancouver City Museum), "was Chilean consul; Port Mellon is named after him; and lived at the 
corner of Nicola and Robson streets. The trail reached Nicola just south of Robson, on the west side of 
Nicola Street; I think it crossed Nelson Street just in front of, on the opposite corner of, the Nelson Street 
fire hall, and they say part of the old trail still" (1 932) "crosses that corner on a vacant lot. 

"There were really two trails, one better than the other." 

Forest in "West End" in 1890. 

"The land north of about Robson Street, between Nicola Street and the park, was in stumps in the fall of 
1 890 when we came; the forest between there and English Bay was cleared away by my relative Mr. 
Phillip Oben after we came. The eastern edge of the timbers was Nicola Street; they ran in a sinuous 
palisade from about Robson Street to the corner of Nicola and Davie in one direction, and to the entrance 
of Stanley Park in the other," (see panorama of "West End in 1 890," also Lost Lagoon, Early Vancouver, 
Matthews, 1 931 ) "in a rambling sort of way. There was some man, I think he worked in the telephone 
company, Farrell, may be Gordon Farrell, who lived in the stumps just about Robson Street; he lived 
there for years; in the woods they ran a one-plank sidewalk right into the woods, a block or more, to his 
house, for those days, quite large." 

Forest fires in the West End. 

"I have a very lucid recollection of the clearing away from Stanley Park up to nearly Nicola Street," 
continued Mrs. Nye. "We watched them cutting the trees down; the men doing the clearing had their 
shack in the woods about 150 yards from us; near the well. Then, later, in the summer of 1892 I think — it 


is hard to think back forty years — the slashing caught fire, and while the fire did no actual damage to 
Stanley Park, until it was under control people were very nervous, and we who were living there on 
English Bay beach got an awful fright. The people in the white house" (see below, and photograph) 
"moved out their furniture and placed it on a scow in English Bay. All Vancouver was there fighting or 
watching the fire; they had a tug boat pumping water. It seems that they fought that fire off and on for two 
weeks before it was finally put out, and Stanley Park saved; that was why they were fighting so 

First residence at English Bay. 

"The first residence on English Bay was built by Mr. McKee, and whilst we were living there. A little white 
cottage, it had a red roof, is shown in the painting on the left, was north of Beach Avenue and west of us. 
It has been moved I believe about 100 feet nearer Denman Street, turned around, altered, is now just 
west of Gilford Street, but still stands among the trees right straight across from the entrance to the 
English Bay pier. Capt. H.C. Ackroyd owns McKee's old house now, I think. The Williams lived in it after 
McKee, and it was their furniture which was loaded onto the scow; they were Methodists, pious people, 
and Mrs. Williams was a good singer. They used to row over to the Indian Reserve" (Kitsilano now) "on 
Sunday, Mr. Williams would preach to the Indians at the village, and we used to sit on the beach at 
English Bay and listen to their singing; everything was so silent there then, and the sound of the Indian 
voices singing came across the water on a Sunday morning quite plainly and was beautiful to listen to. 
The Williams had three children, Claude, now inspector of water for the city, Alfred and Marrianne. Mr. 
McKee's son was injured some four or five years ago in an explosion which blew up a train near Nelson; 
some Doukhobors were killed in the explosion. 

"In the panoramic photograph which you have of the West End, taken from Fairview, showing the two 
bridges, sometimes called 'West End in 1 890,' you can see in the far distance, just at the entrance to 
Stanley Park at English Bay, a tiny cottage near the shore. That cottage was built by Mr. and Mrs. 
Smith — he was a clerk at the Hotel Vancouver — the second year we were there." 

Lost Lagoon (Indian name Chulwhahulsh, "dry passage.") 

"This photograph looks to me," said Mrs. Nye, and "so it does to me," interjected Capt. Nye, "like Coal 
Harbour, now part of Lost Lagoon. It was all forest between our English Bay shack and Coal Harbour in 
1890; this is one of those shacks on the south shore of Coal Harbour, between Second Beach and the 
Stanley Park bridge; the old Stanley Park brewery afterwards stood there, on the hillside where these fir 
trees are." 

Note: the photograph is of a forest shore on the right, three cedar shake shacks conjoined, a man in 
sitting posture before them, two Hudson Bay blankets airing, and six Indian canoes midst the debris of 
trees on the water's edge. In the original photo a faint outline of the mountains on the distant north shore 
absolutely identifies the exact location of the picture; it could not have been anywhere else. An inspection 
of the site on 19 February 1932 confirms the shoreline as the east side of Lost Lagoon between Robson 
and Georgia streets produced. J.S.M. 

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. The C.P.R. park. Seymour Creek. Jericho. 

"These pictures of Old Vancouver. The St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at the corner of Richards and 
Georgia, built about April or May 1 890, used to have two towers; one blew off, and they never replaced it. 
And this picture of the C.P.R. park in front of the Hotel Vancouver. I remember the Rev. W. Pedley, who 
helped to start the City Library, preaching in that park one Sunday, and saying, even in those days, that 
Canada would yet become the heart of the Empire, and that perhaps the Royal family would make their 
home in Canada. 

"The other photograph of a boating picnic scene on Seymour Creek, well, there was nowhere else to go; 
there were two alternatives, across the inlet or out to Jericho; usually we went to Jericho; there was 
nothing over where Stanley Park is now, and you got tired of going to the same place." 


Captain Percy Nye. Granville Street. 

Captain Nye, still very active and at work every day in his public garage and service station, took up the 

"I was walking up Granville Street one day, on the west side, just above Dunsmuir, and almost opposite 
the present lower entrance of the Hudson's Bay stores, just a few yards above Dunsmuir; I was walking 
up the plank sidewalk. In those days there was a plank sidewalk on both sides of Granville Street. The 
centre of the street had been filled in on one side only, the east side and the middle; on the west side it 
was a hollow six feet deep, littered with growing grass and weeds, you can see it in your photographs; the 
west side plank sidewalk on which I was passing was on stilts six feet high. I noticed something in white 
coming through the stumps and little trees and bushes across Howe Street way, and as we passed, a 
woman called, 'Is my boy under there?' The ground was wet and muskeggy, and the woman wanted to 
save her feet from getting wet, and so called over to us. 

"At first I scarcely understood what she wanted, but when she explained I jumped down into the wet 
hollow beside the walk; it was easier to do that than to climb over the handrail on the other side of the 
plank walk, and underneath the sidewalk was a boy's little play shack, made out of boards, lined with 
newspapers, two bunks, some crusts of bread lying about, but no one was in it. I clambered back, and 
said, 'No, not there,' and then she came to the side of the walk and looked in herself, and remarked that 
he had been away from home too long, wondered where he had gone, and went on, 'I know he and the 
other boys come over to here to play "living here."' All the land below Georgia Street, between Granville 
and Howe, and over towards Seymour Street too, was a wet hole at that time; full of skunk cabbage and 
that sort of thing. The boys had a regular playhouse under that old wooden sidewalk, a regular pirate's 
den, where they probably dreamed out all manner of heroics, sea fights, etc., etc., or," (quizzically) 
"ducked out from family chores. I often wonder what prominent citizen of Vancouver that boy grew into." 

{ T vyalK ^on^Vf lU Z>. WALK 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 1 6 

Early steamers, etc. 

"I came to Vancouver when I was 16, came via San Francisco. Charlie Nye, my brother, used to be street 
lamp lighter in New Westminster. We were down in Seattle during May and June 1 889; the fire in Seattle 
was in June 1889. I was over in Victoria that day and when we got back the place was in smouldering 

"For a long time I was steamboating around Vancouver. A vivid recollection is a trip up the north arm of 
the Fraser; there were three scow loads of potatoes to come to Vancouver; there were no aids to 
navigation on the north arm in those days, just a stick of cordwood anchored as a buoy. Captain 
Babbington, he was just a big fat kid then — afterwards he went to Prince Rupert in the early days and 
made a name for himself — he had a small tug, the /Agnes; I was on the Nagasaki, built in Hong Kong" (or 
Japan), "formerly the property of A.G. Ferguson, well-known pioneer, who used her as a palatial steam 
yacht when he had her. Billy Evans, eldest brother of Walter F. Evans of the big music house, was 
engineer on the Nagasaki, and Nick Lister. We were going to steal a march on Captain Babbington, so 
went in on the evening tide. We touched bottom, pike-poled off again, touched again, backed off several 
times; finally we grounded at high tide, dark came, and when we got up in the morning we were without 
food. I tried to boil some potatoes by turning the steam pipe on them, but they cooked all to a pulp, and 
Billy Evans then took a row boat to get some grub from the ranchers, but we had little to eat for four days. 
The whole section below Eburne" (Marpole) "was very sparsely settled in the early nineties; just an 
expanse of wild nature. Two families of McClarys came along once in a sailboat, and preempted 150 
acres of land where the golf course is — Mrs. McClary told me herself — they sold it for a golf course; they 
had been there fifty years." 


Jerry's Cove (Jericho). 

"Jerry Rogers, brother to old Captain Rogers, he logged at Jerry's Cove, from which it got the name of 
Jericho; Captain Rogers, with whom I steamboated for three years, told me. His brothers were Jimmy and 
Billy; Percy Rogers skippered on the C.P.R. boats, and is a nephew." 

North Vancouver. 

"Walter Collis planted the orchard at North Vancouver; he preempted it. Was working at Moodyville at the 

(Note: this does not coincide with Duncan McDonald, pioneer of Moodyville of 1873, who said Tom 
Turner planted it. See elsewhere.) 

Deep Cove, North Arm, Burrard Inlet. 

"You know Deep Cove, North Arm. I was there in 1890, on the south side, on the little flat. There was a 
man living there, don't know his name, he had worked since 1864 for the Moodyville Sawmill, had put in a 
flume to run their water power mill. He married a klootch, and was living with her at Deep Cove; there was 
three of his family's graves in the back yard there." 


"I remember one time," continued Captain Nye, "before Miss Mackey became my wife, we went for a 
ramble with Marrianne" (Mary Williams — Jesse Williams's daughter; he was first (?) labour member of 
Parliament) "out towards Dalgliesh's place on English Bay, right at Jericho, where the flying place is now. 
There was a nice little beach there, and the Chinamen, when they went fishing, used to catch smelt and 
sun dry them; raked the smelt out of the water with a garden rake; they came there to spawn. 

"There was no Point Grey Road in those days; you had to take the beach. Before we got back the tide 
came in, and Mary would not let me carry her, but I took Mother" (his wife, Mrs. Nye) "on my back. Mary 
went ahead, and waded the sea, and as we turned a point, one of those little points, there in front of us 
was a Siwash, stark naked, down for a swim. Mary 'ran right into' him; we could not go up the bank — that 
was all bush — and I had to carry Mother past too. It was while Mother was living in the shack at English 
Bay beach that I got acquainted with her. They came from Port Arthur before they came from New 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 1 7 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 1 8 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 1 9 




Mount Pleasant. Robson and Towns Estate. 

"It was a man named Robson who preempted all the land around here — in the environs of Cambie 
Street — they told me he gave it up, but I never could understand how it came about that it was afterwards 
known as the Robson and Towns Estate. After we were married in 1897 I looked for a place for a home. I 
looked at a fifty foot lot on False Creek, right where Coghlan's office was," (J. Coghlan & Sons, who built 
the ships during the war, on False Creek) "where they had the great ship building plant during the war, 
and built ships as fast as they knew how, to replace those sunk; where the Western Bridge Co. is now. 
They wanted $400 for it, $400. Then I looked at a lot belonging to the Carter Bros, of the" (Lewis) "'Carter 
House,' but the land was so gol darned wet it was impossible. That whole section to the west of 
Westminster Avenue along the shore of False Creek and up as far as Dufferin Street was just one 
sopping morass, and lots of big stumps. There was one enormous stump in the middle of the lane 
between 4 th and 5 th avenues, between Columbia and Manitoba streets, it must have been five feet 
through. At the foot of Columbia Street was a great patch of wild rose bushes. The old logging camp barn 
was on Yukon Street. 

"Finally in 1 898 I bought the southwest corner of Columbia and 4 th Avenue for $250 and we moved over 
in 1 899 and have been there since. Then I bought the inside lot of $1 75 and paid Kerr Houlgate $1 
down. For a long time after we came over here to live at 2001 Columbia Street, they objected to the 
opening of the streets east of Cambie Street; did not want them cut through to Westminster Avenue; 
would raise their taxes. It was all bush at that time, second growth. I remember when the teamster 
brought the posts for our verandah, his wagon axle got under a stump, and we had to go and get him out. 
When they put through the 6 th Avenue, the coloured" (painted) "house was found to be in the middle of 
the street." 

(Note: in early days, building bylaws, building inspection and so on was most informal. One pioneer 
relates that when he went to the City Hall to obtain directions as to where to build his house, etc., a clerk 
told him to "build it facing the mountains." To this was due the fact that many houses were afterwards 
found, when surveys were made, to be on the street. W.D. Burdis's house was on Gilford Street when 
Gilford Street was cut through.) 

Fairview. North Arm Road (Fraser Avenue). 

"It was three Frenchmen who cleared off the land about Granville Street" (Centre Street) "and Third 
Avenue West. They had a camp on a little green spot at the end of the old Granville Street bridge" (to 
Third Avenue) "where the big maple tree was; it had been an old logging camp. Granville Street, as we 
call it now, had been widened from False Creek up to about Broadway, I think; it had been rolled and 
looked nice. Mr. Boyd of Boyd and Clendenning says that was in 1 891 ; the sewers were put in in 
Vancouver in 1893; of course, there were trees on both sides. Fraser Avenue was the North Arm Road, 
not Centre Street, or Granville as we call it now." 

The first street car. 

"Carmichael, of the B.C. Electric Railway" [NOTE ADDED LATER: Vancouver Electric Railway?] "took the 
first five-cent fare in 1 890. As the car came out of the barn, a man jumped on and gave him a five-cent 
piece. He kept it, and has it yet. It was Mr. Ray, afterwards reeve of South Vancouver, who put up the first 
car barn." 





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Early butchers. 

"John Gamier married my wife's sister Maud, the little girl on the swing in the English Bay" (1889) 
"painting my wife has. He used to deliver meat on horseback for Mcintosh, the old time butcher, before 
Pat Burns." (P. Burns and Co. Ltd.) "Jack used to ride around on horseback with a basket of meat on his 
arms, resting it on his thigh. He was one of the old timers in Mount Pleasant." 

The Union Steamship Co. of B.C. The City Wharf. Carrall Street. 

"The Union Steamship Company started with the Senator, Leonora, Skidegate, and Cutch. Afterwards 
they got the Comox, Coquitlam, and Capilano; the Cutch came from Calcutta or Bombay. When the 
Cutch ran ashore that time," (see Geo. L. Allan) "and nearly climbed into Water Street, it was not down by 
the Sunnyside Hotel, but at about the foot of Abbott Street; I think 'Skidegate Johnson,' her captain at the 
time, is still living. The Bell-lrving-Patterson wharf was at the foot of Abbott Street, the Union Steamship 
Company's wharf at the foot of Carrall Street; the Moodyville Sawmill Co. had a lumber yard and wharf at 
the foot of Cambie Street. The old wharf at the foot of Carrall Street was known as the 'City Wharf'; it 
belonged to the city. What I think about the litigation with the C.P.R. about that City Wharf is that the 
C.P.R. just took it. It was on the Bell-lrving-Patterson wharf that Evans Coleman Evans got their first start; 
they used to land fish at the east end; that was where the New England Fish Co. got started. The Union 
Steamship Co. wharf at the foot of Carrall and the Bell-Irving wharf at the foot of Abbott shot out towards 
each other, sort of interlocked; it was a nasty place to make a boat landing." 

The Robert Dunsmuir, triangular service. 

"You see, the old Robert Dunsmuir, the Rogers boat, used to run between Vancouver, Nanaimo, and 
New Westminster, pretty nearly every day; she had a regular schedule, one day direct from New 
Westminster down river to Nanaimo, next from New Westminster to Vancouver and then on to Nanaimo. 
The Union Steamship Co. put on the Cutch on the Nanaimo run, and then the Rogers, with the assistance 
of the Dunsmuirs, the coal owners of Nanaimo, built the City of Nanaimo and still later the old Joan was 
built. The City of Nanaimo's hull was built on the south side of False Creek, just west of the Cambie Street 
bridge, in the old Leamy and Kyle Mill yard, and then towed around to New Westminster to have her 
boilers put in." 

As narrated (and corrected) by Captain and Mrs. Nye to Major Matthews. 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_124 


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ltem# EarlyVan_v2_125 


False Creek in 1899. Leamy and Kyle Sawmill. 

In 1 899-1 902 the whole triangle east of Cambie Street, bounded on the north by False Creek, on the 
south by Sixth Avenue, and its base line being the shore from the Cambie Street bridge to the mouth of a 
small creek which was west of Ash Street, was an unfenced area of small bushes, twenty to twenty-five 
feet high, mostly elms and willows, etc., etc., interspersed with green patches of grass, save and except 
at the northwest corner, near the bridge, where the idle old Leamy and Kyle mill stood surrounded with 
the remains of a lumber yard, old board roads, and sawdust strewn bare ground; a derelict mill. A small 
cottage, the watchman's, stood near a bridge which crossed a creek 125 yards from Cambie Street; 
beyond the bridge a ten foot wagon trail meandered through bushes past another small cottage on the 
shore, and in it Captain H.C. Ackroyd, of Innes, Richards and Ackroyd, an officer in the 6th Regiment 
"The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," lived with his wife and fancy collie dogs. Continuing on by this 
narrow trail, a final cottage of clapboards, painted white, see photograph, three rooms, tin bath, no 
chimney, stood on the edge of a cliff twenty-five feet high above a creek mouth, and distant 1 50 feet from 
Sixth Avenue, which was opened up, but overgrown so that little remained other than a trail for a wagon, 
deep mud and impassable in winter, dusty in summer. This trail along Sixth Avenue led back to Cambie 
Street, or as it was then called, Bridge Street. 

The last cottage, the white one, was occupied by Mr. J.S. Matthews, wife and three children, the latter 
playing in the trees or in the Indian canoes in the creek. They kept a cow, which ran through the woods 
and fed from the little green patches of grass, or down the slope in front of the cottage to the log boom, 
where there was a little wharf. (See photograph.) The sewerage from this cottage ran down the cliff by a 
wooden chute. In the rear, just beside Sixth Avenue, was a chicken shed where 100 to 200 chickens 
roosted; all around was primeval undergrowth. Across the creek, which between the two high banks was 
perhaps 1 00 to 200 feet wide, was a wilderness of second growth, stumps, berry bushes, as far as the 
Granville Street bridge; no recollections place any houses below Seventh Avenue; along the shore was 
boulders, mud and roots of great trees. In the winter time great flocks of ducks infested the waters of the 
creek, and were shot from the shore, but they were poor eating — too salty and fishy — they were mallards, 
hell divers. The fishing was good. The cottage had been the home of the manager of the old mill; it was a 
primeval but very pretty place, a regular summer cottage in the trees and grass patch. It will be seen in 
the photograph; the houses at the rear of the picture face north on Sixth Avenue. A deep ravine, down 
which the creek flowed, ran back beyond Broadway, and has not been, even yet, 1933, completely filled 
in. In 1899-1902 the Ninth Avenue (Broadway) street car line was a single track line which cavorted over 
hummock and hollow beside a trail, called Ninth Avenue, from Mount Pleasant to Fairview once every 
twenty minutes; occasionally one could shoot a pheasant above or below Ninth Avenue. 

Mr. Matthews rented the cottage for five dollars every three months from the B.C. Land and Investment 
Co. (E.B. Morgan and Major J. Reynolds Tite.) With a Guernsey cow, many chickens, their own 
vegetables, fish caught from the sea, their own butter, an occasional bird, wood cut on the shore from 
logs which drifted in, they lived very pleasantly — a family of five — on a salary of forty dollars a month 
received from the Imperial Oil Co. Ltd. 

False Creek in 1899-1902. 

Across the creek from the Leamy and Kyle mill standing derelict was the C.P.R. yards and roundhouse. A 
deep bay ran to within 1 00 or 1 50 yards of Smythe and Cambie streets. A few solitary fir trees still 
remained on the edge of the shore, the C.P.R. tracks circled the bay, and it is to this fact that the circular 
form of these tracks is today due. 

On Cambie Street South, one small grocery store did a miserable business; it stood on the west side 
between Sixth and Seventh avenues. Bridge Street (Cambie Street South) was a narrow road twenty feet 
wide, with macadam surface in bad repair. On Sixth Avenue, between Bridge Street and the ravine, were 
three houses on the south side and west of Ash Street — none east of Ash Street — one of these, the one 
next to the ravine, was occupied by the father of Major Geo. W. Melhuish, afterwards commanding officer 
of the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. North of Sixth Avenue, between Bridge and the ravine, all was second 
growth trees. 


The two streams, the one just west of Ash Street, and the other just west of Bridge Street, were quiet 
"respectable" brooks, especially after a rain. The more easterly one was twenty feet wide at the mouth 
and overhung with bushes. 

The whole area spoken of was wild, ragged shrubbery. 

To the east of Bridge Street all was equally wild, but a wet sopping swamp from about 5 th Avenue down. It 
was overgrown with trees in which boys with air guns or shot guns went shooting owls, etc., etc., for the 
"fun" of shooting. 

South of Ninth Avenue (Broadway) and west of Bridge Street, the whole area was a wilderness of stumps 
and second growth. 

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Item# EarlyVan_v2_126 



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Leamy and Kyle Sawmill, False Creek. 

This small photo was taken in 1 899. It was reported at that time to me that the small house — a clapboard 
structure of three rooms built on posts, with tin bath, and sewerage running down the bank into the salt 
water by means of a wooden shoot (or chute) — was formerly the residence of the manager of the old 
Leamy and Kyle mill, which stood 1 00 yards west of the Cambie Street bridge, the old wooden one. 

The two piles shown on the left are the western extremity of the log boom used for logs supplying the mill. 

This mill was closed down for many years. During 1899 and 1902 it was idle; how long previously and 
how long exactly afterwards I do not recall, but I should judge it changed hands and started up some time 
about 1 908. It is on the exact site of the present Vancouver Lumber Co., 1 931 , mill. The yards in those 
days were very small — much smaller than now. 

There was no railways connection for many years after 1899-1902. 

The site of the house is to the west of Ash Street, and north of Sixth Avenue West about 50 yards. 

On the right of the picture it will be observed that the sea runs into the land. In 1 899-1 902 this arm ran for 
perhaps 100 yards into the land, and a stream entered it almost exactly under what is now Sixth Avenue 
West. The stream came down a ravine, 50 or 60 feet deep, from up near the hospital. Both banks of the 
small arm of the sea were very steep, and 30 to 40 feet high on both sides. To the west, across the creek 
mouth, was a waste of small bushes as far as Granville Street. My recollection is that there was nothing in 
the way of buildings until Granville Street Bridge (Third Avenue Bridge) was reached. The shore was 
mud, beneath a cliff rising and falling along the shore to a height of 10 to 20 feet. Above the hill ran up 
steeply in an incline, and was a delightful place to go for a ramble, and in the summer pick huckleberries, 
salmonberries, and shoot pheasants. 

To the east the whole triangle, some 20 acres perhaps in extent, and bounded by Sixth Avenue West, 
Cambie Street, and the shore of False Creek, was small bushes, elm trees, willows, etc., etc., 
interspersed with green patches of grass upon which cows were tethered, as it was not fenced. A "dirt" 
road ten feet wide ran from the house in the picture in a sinuous direction towards the old Cambie Street 
bridge — a much shorter bridge than the present one — and the road crossed a small creek about halfway 
to the bridge by a wooden trestle bridge. It was a pretty trail, lined closely on both sides with thick bushes 
which brushed both wheels of a buggy or wagon as it rolled along. In front of the house, and to the east 
was a large green patch of grass, roughly cleared of stumps, and studded with big handsome elm trees 
(seen in the picture). The cows and horses grazed around. The house lay empty for a long time, until in 
1899, J.S. Matthews, his wife and three babes went to live there. They paid the B.C. Land and Investment 
Co. (Capt. J. Reynolds Tite and E.B. Morgan) five dollars a quarter (of three months) rental. They kept a 
Guernsey cow, many chickens, grew their own vegetables, caught fish in the sea, shot ducks, made their 
own butter and so on, cut their own wood from logs which drifted up on the shore, and lived very 
pleasantly and comfortably on a salary of forty dollars a month. They used Indian canoes. The children's 
health was excellent in such surroundings. Halfway between the house and the bridge was another 
similar cottage, perhaps slightly better, in which a quite wealthy man lived with his wife, Capt. H.C. 
Ackroyd, an officer of the 6 Regiment D.C.O.R., and a member of the firm of Innes, Richards and 

J.S. Matthews 
1 July 1931 

7 July 1 931 - Leamy and Kyle Mill, False Creek, continued. 

The small creek, which entered False Creek perhaps 1 50 yards west of Cambie Street was, in 1 899, 
concealed between overhanging bushes which lined both banks. At the mouth it was twenty feet wide, 
very sluggish, but narrowed and ran faster as it went back in a southerly direction. It came down a deep 
ravine which at one point crossed the corner of Ninth Avenue and Cambie — it did not cross Cambie, but 
was just a yard or so to the west. It was perhaps forty, perhaps fifty feet deep, and was afterwards filled in 
with excavation earth. It will thus be seen that in a short distance of perhaps two blocks to the west of 
Cambie Street, two quite respectable streams of fresh water entered False Creek. 


In 1 899-1 902, False Creek was a haven for ducks in the winter time. There were literally hundreds, 
perhaps thousands of them; all kinds from butter balls to mallards and hell divers. They could, at times, 
be shot from the verandah of the small house in the picture. They were poor eating, being too fishy. 

The fishing in the creek was good. 

Across the creek, on the C.P.R. yards side, a deep bay ran to within one hundred yards of Cambie Street. 
A few solitary fir trees stood on the low cliff. The shore circled around, winding off in a southerly direction, 
and circled around the C.P.R. Roundhouse. 

Up the creek was a shore similar to that in the west, just mud, and behind it a vacant space, almost 
without a house as far as Westminster Avenue, and covered with small trees and bushes — second 

On Cambie Street, then a narrow road without macadam, but with a five foot board sidewalk, was a single 
store. It was a small grocery store, just a yard or so above Sixth Avenue, and did a very small business. 

In the Leamy and Kyle lumber yard was a watchman's cottage — all around was sawdust. The cottage 
stood by the creek with the trestle bridge. 

In 1899 there were three houses between Cambie Street (on Sixth Avenue) and the creek shown in the 
picture. Sixth Avenue was opened up from Cambie to the creek. Then came the ravine with the creek at 
the bottom, and beyond that as far as Granville Street — sometimes in those days called Centre Street — 
was just a vacant area of wild shrubs. The block and a half of Sixth Avenue was a mere trail, passable in 
summer, deep in mud in winter, and rarely used. One of the occupants of the three houses (the one in the 
picture in the rear) was the father of Major Geo. W. Melhuish, afterwards officer commanding the 6 th 
Regiment D.C.O.R. and for many years manager of the Rogers Building, Granville and Pender streets. 

J.S. Matthews 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_128 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_129 


The West End in 1900. 

In December 1899 Burrard Street beyond St. Paul's Hospital was a mere wagon trail of mud twisting in 
and out between stumps; a two-plank sidewalk ran on the west side as far as Beach Avenue. Where 
Burrard Street crossed Davie Street, the pedestrian jumped down two or three feet into a quagmire of 
mud, walked across Davie Street which was being opened up, and climbed up again on the other side. 
Burrard Street down the slope from Burnaby to Beach Avenue was a trail, a wagon's width wide, the 
centre of which was the bed of a stream of storm water in bad weather, and which left a gutter of varying 
depth and direction, so that it was difficult for wagons to descend; the trail was strewn with boulders and 
stone; on both sides the street allowance was stumps and forest debris, young trees, and tangled bushes. 
Burnaby Street, Harwood Street and Pacific Street did not exist, save on paper; Beach Avenue was a well 
travelled trail, ten feet wide, overgrown with bushes which hung over the trail, dusty when dry, mud when 
well wetted; there may have been a two-plank sidewalk, but it is not recalled. On Sunday afternoons, if 
they were fine, it was well travelled with flashy buggies on their way to and from Stanley Park. 

All the area of the southern slope west of Burrard Street was wilderness; the stumps stood where they 
had been cut off when the trees were felled; the underbrush and debris had all been cleared away and it 
was possible to walk, or rather scramble over the West End. In the summer of 1 900 the writer and his wife 
went blackberry picking in the direction of Bute, Thurlow or Nicola, on that slope, after the evening meal; 
they went too far, or sat too long, for with darkness coming on, they could not find their way back. No 
lights were visible; all was darkness when night fell. This was in early June 1 900. 

Within fifty feet to the west of the traffic signal at the entrance to the Burrard Bridge, at the corner of 
Pacific, there were two houses owned by Hugh Magee. Here we lived in the lower one. Other houses 
were near, but none could be seen for the second growth trees surrounding. Sometimes we wandered 
back in the trees to watch the birds, or to pick up bits of wood for firewood; chickens laid eggs in the wild 
land behind; sometimes a Chinaman, with pigtail, following a load of wood, sought the job of sawing it up, 
and got "two bits" (250) a cord for doing it. 

Thirty-two years later (14 July 1932) I stood on the same spot — alone — surrounded with 10,000 to 20,000 
citizens to witness the official ceremonious opening by provincial, civic and church dignitaries of the 
splendid three million dollar bridge. Then I walked over, where once I crossed by Indian dugout. 

JSM 1 March 1933. 

2 September 1932 - Vancouver Weekly Herald. Robert Mathison, Kelowna. 

Mr. Robert Mathison, Doctor of Dental Surgery. 

"The first newspaper in Vancouver was a weekly, the Herald, I worked there, not on the newspaper, but 
as job printer. The News was James Ross's and was the first daily paper; afterwards, Billy McDougall 
started the Advertiser. I recall that we had to wait three months before we could bring in from San 
Francisco a heavy paper cutter machine; we wanted to get it up Hastings Street to our printing 
establishment on the north side between Homer and Richards streets, but Hastings Street was such a 
mud hole that we had to wait three months before the road was in shape for us to bring in the paper 


"I came to Vancouver in March 1 886, and in 1 887 I had sent out to me a bicycle, one of the old fashioned 
type, with one big wheel and one small one. An article was published some time ago saying that Mr. Piper 
had the first bicycle; I wrote to him and he conceded that his bicycle was the first with pneumatic tires, 
and that it was after I had brought mine." 

North Vancouver. 

"There is a rather good story of how Pete Larson of North Vancouver got his wooden sidewalk to his 
hotel, the first hotel, I think — I don't think there was any stopping place there before his hotel. You will 
remember that the first landing stage at North Vancouver after the ferry started was a floating stage on 
logs with a step ladder arrangement, a gangway with cleats and rails — about four feet wide — to the pile 
wharf on which was a little wooden shed about ten feet square, without door or window, in which freight 


was stored, usually hay, to keep it dry. Well, when Pete built his hotel — just to the west of what is now 
Lonsdale Avenue — on what is now Esplanade, the road was just a trail though the orchard to the Indian 
Reserve, etc.; there was no sidewalk, and Pete wanted one, for his hotel was a Sunday afternoon resort 
for Vancouver people who wanted 'somewhere to go.' So Pete went to the mayor of North Vancouver, 
and suggested that if the mayor would supply the labour, he (Pete) would supply the lumber and nails. 
The mayor agreed. Then Pete went to Joe W. McFarland, who owned a lot of property there, and said 
that if he — Mr. McFarland — would supply the lumber and nails, he (Pete) would supply the labour. Joe 
agreed, and the sidewalk was put down. 

"Some time after Joe and the mayor met, and Joe said to the mayor, 'What do you think of my sidewalk?' 
'Your sidewalk,' ejaculated the mayor, 'Your sidewalk! We supplied the labour.' 

"Soon afterwards, Joe and the mayor decided that they had better wait upon Pete and 'see about it.' Pete 
saw them coming, and slipped into the bar, and when they arrived Pete was behind the bar, and greeted 
them luxuriantly with, 'Come right in, gentlemen, and have a drink.' 


"When the old Vancouver Opera House" (700 block Granville Street, west side, now the Vancouver 
Theatre) "was building we used to climb up on the walls and watch the horse races down Howe Street 
from that point of vantage." 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 30 


The most pretentious building in Vancouver, 1889. Cordova Street, 1889. The 
Dunn-Miller Block. Thos. Dunn, Jonathan Miller. 

J.S. Matthews, 1932. The building, still standing in 1932, was commonly known as the Dunn-Miller Block, 
and is at the east end, south side, Cordova Street West, a few steps from Carrall Street. In 1932 the 
ground floor store shown in the photograph taken at the time it was being built in 1 889, is numbered 26 
and 28 Cordova Street West, the first used as the Crown Saloon at one time, the second now used as a 
second-hand store. The remainder is used for a cheap cafe, rooms upstairs, etc., etc. 

At the time this building was erected it was the largest and most pretentious in Vancouver, much more so 
than the Bell-Irving Block at the southeast corner of Richards and Cordova streets (demolished July 1932 
to make way for an automobile parking ground for David Spencers Limited) which was erected the same 
year (see photograph). 

The Dunn-Miller Block was the westerly continuation of the Lonsdale Block, also built 1 889, which it 
resembled almost exactly in design. "Modern" in 1889, it was without basement, no central heating, nor 
elevator although three storeys, but was the largest brick building at the time. 

Part of the block was owned by Jonathan Miller, afterwards our postmaster for so many years, and part 
by others, among them said to be Lord Lonsdale. At one time the building was the centre of mercantile 
activity. Thos. Dunn and Co., hardware merchants, the largest in Vancouver, were located in it, Stark's 
Glasgow House (dry goods) and Wm. Ralph, ranges. 

McDonough's Hall (see photograph). St. Andrew's Caledonian Society. Columbia 

W.F. Findlay, 1 April 1 932. "McDonough's Hall, on the southwest corner of Columbia and Hastings streets 
was built in 1887 by Mr. McDonough, afterwards for a short time proprietor of the Oriental Hotel; it still 
stands, practically the only very early building on Hastings Street; I know of no other so early although 
there is at least one other wooden original building — next door, between Main Street and Carrall Street; 
no wooden buildings now exist west of Carrall Street on Hastings; all gone. 

"The St. Andrew's Caledonian Society held their first ball in the McDonough Hall on November 30 th 1887; 
this society is the oldest of its kind in Vancouver. 

"At the time it was built, and for a long time, it stood alone as the only building in the bushes of Hastings 
Street; there were some Chinese shacks on Dupont Street near it, but on Hastings Street it was the only 
building." (See Early Vancouver, Matthews, 1931.) 

Central School. Court House. Capt. E.S. Scoullar. 

Capt. E.S. Scoullar, 31 October 1 932. "The architect for the Central School facing Victory Square was Mr. 
Sorby; the contract was let to Turnbull and Co. by the provincial government together with the first Court 
House on Victory Square, and which, after the present Court House on Georgia Street was built, was 
demolished. The firm of Turnbull and Co. consisted of E.S. Scoullar, William Turnbull and Thomas Grey, 
both deceased. I was then head of the firm, and financed it. The bricks in the building were made in New 
Westminster, where the firm had a large brick yard. The contract was completed in 1889; the 
superintendent of construction was the late Joseph Dixon of the firm of Dixon and Murray. The foreman 
carpenter was Hugh Wilson. The heating and plumbing was done by E.S. Scoullar and Co., Cordova and 
Water Street, Vancouver and Columbia Street, New Westminster. 

1932 - Big Trees. H.P. McCraney. 

"The biggest cedar I ever saw stood close to W.H. Gallagher's office at the corner of Pender Street West 
and Richards Street. I came here on January 29th 1 885 — Water Street was planked then. When I first 
came out I walked with Mr. Patterson — he was afterwards lieutenant governor — from Chemainus to 
Victoria, and on the way we passed a big fir and measured it. It was fifty-four feet in circumference, and 


was the biggest tree I ever saw; cedars are usually bigger at the butt, but they taper as they go up; firs 
are more even in their circumference." 

The big tree on Georgia Street (real estate office?) 

"We cut off two sections and they stood for a long time in front of Ross and Ceperley's office on the south 
side of Hastings Street between Homer and Hamilton streets, where David Evans had a tailor shop 
afterwards — you can see them in the old photo which the Native Daughters have at the old Hastings Mill 
store on Alma Road. The other sections were sent to the Toronto Exhibition; perhaps they did send a 
section or two to the Jubilee Colonial Exhibition in England." 

The Great Fire. Regina Hotel. 

"There was nothing west of the Regina Hotel; the reason that the Regina Hotel escaped the fire was that 
it was out of the fire zone; the wind blew the fire right past it. 

"I was stopping at the Sunnyside. We saw the fire, and I said to my partner, Mr. Stephenson, 'Let's go 
and look after our stuff.' We went up the corduroy road, that is, Cordova Street now, but did not get as far 
as Cambie Street. When we got back to the Sunnyside it was on fire; the fire was so quick. They can say 
what they like, the fire started back of the Regina Hotel." 

Sunnyside Hotel. 

(Looking at photo of fire with tent in centre.) "The sort of pier on the waterfront — looks like piling" (points 
to photo) "might be the remains of the Sunnyside Hotel which was in part built on piles out over the water; 
it could not be the C.P.R. trestle, for the C.P.R. had no trestle work here then." (Note: see the "first train 
into Vancouver," this volume, 20 or 22 March 1 887.) 

Burrard Hotel. 

"The Burrard Hotel stood at the northeast corner of Hastings and Columbia streets. It was afterwards 
rebuilt on a different site, where the Balmoral Hotel was afterwards, southwest corner Cordova and 
Carrall. Faucets, the soda water man, and the bartender, were found burned to death in front of the 
Burrard Hotel." (Great Fire.) 

"A.W. Ross of Ross and Ceperley was brother-in-law to Mayor MacLean — his office was on Hastings 
Street between Hamilton and Homer streets; was built out of relief funds; so was Mayor MacLean's 
house" (see photo of it still standing in 1 932) "at the corner of Oppenheimer and Dunlevy streets. 
Alderman E.P. Hamilton built a shack on Trounce Alley; I slept in it the third night after the fire. It was 
Harrison, the contractor, who was killed up the C.P.R. line and whom they were burying at New 
Westminster at the time of the fire." (See J.W. McFarland and Geo. L. Schetky.) "General J. Duff Stuart 
and Harold Clark" (Clarke and Stuart, stationers) "were clerks in Tilley's stationery store before they 
started out for themselves, and the only phone was in the back of the store; see Jimmy Tilley's widow, 
she may be in town. Alderman Balfour's widow is also living, and A.J. Mouat of the Library is still here. 
Geo. L. Allen of the shoe store has a little store out in Point Grey now. The customs officer was old Mr. 
'Ike' Johns; he presided at the Customs House on Water Street." 

The first public library. 

H.P. McCraney continued (after Mrs. Pollay's account of the founding of the public library was read to 
him.) "That's about right, but Bodington did not come until afterwards, but perhaps she is right. Jackson, 
the jeweller, was between Abbott and Carrall streets — perhaps the library was over Thos. Dunn's at first, 
but I know we were over McLennan, McFeely's later." 

Note: in connection with the above George Cary says that he was contractor for John Devine, and built 
for John Devine the store which Mc. and Mc. occupied. Mrs. Pollay says that John Devine had an office 
upstairs across the hallway from the library. (See old directories.) 

Clearing the land. 

"We," continued Mr. McCraney, "that is, Stephenson and McCraney, had the contract to clear the land 
between Georgia and Dunsmuir streets, and between Burrard Street and the C.P.R. tracks." (False 
Creek.) "Three hundred dollars per acre; we just sawed off the stumps and left in more than we took. I 


should not be surprised if the root and stump of that great tree on Georgia Street is not in there yet — 
about the front of the Strand Theatre." 

Note: Mr. Forbes, Forbes Realty Co., 510 Homer Street, 10 May 1932, states that his father felled the 
great tree, that it stood close to the lane between Hastings and Seymour, but at the back of the lot now 
occupied by the tall Vancouver Block, and that it fell northeasterly, which illustrates the difficulties of a 
historian in recording from pioneer memories, for one says it stood about the corner of the lane and 
Georgia, that it fell northwest; another that it fell southeast; all contend the other fellow is wrong. 

Kerrisdale. Magee 

"I used to go to Hugh Magee's via the North Arm Road, now Fraser Avenue, and then turn west along the 
River Road, now Marine Drive. The North Arm Road was through long before, at least 1880," (see 
Jemmett's map of Indian Reserve, 1880) "years before the C.P.R. cut through the Marpole which we call 
Granville Street." 

Gastown. The Indian (Methodist) church. The first church. 

Dick Isaacs (Indian name Que-yah-chulk), 14 October 1932. One-armed Indian who lost the other arm 
many years ago in a sawmill, and who now lives at North Vancouver Reserve (Ustlawn). 

"I recall the old Indian church over at Gastown quite well. It was a little bit of a place on the shore; it was 
not sideways to the shore, but one end nearest the water. There was no tower on it, such as we have 
here now at North Vancouver, but just a little bit of a bell tower, and a bell. Inside it was not fixed up like 
the Catholics fix up the inside of their churches, it was just plain, and about thirty feet long. It was wide 
enough for us to have three benches for us to sit upon — all in a row across the church, three of them. 

"Lots of Indians used to go there from Stanley Park" (Whoi-Whoi, now Lumberman's Arch); "there was a 
big settlement in Stanley Park then. Mr. Daylick" (Derrick) "was the first minister I remember, then Mr. 
Bryant; Mr. Tate used to come sometimes. 

"I don't know how old I am, may be 60, may be 70, but I remember 'Old Chief Capilano. The 'Old Chief 
died, then Chief Lah-wa succeeded him. Lahwa was married in the little Indian Church at Gastown to a 
Fraser River Indian woman. Afterwards Joe became chief, he was a relation to the 'Old Chiefs' wife. Joe 
was a good Catholic; that was why they made him chief. 

"'Portuguese Joe' was the first to keep store at Gastown. He had a store near the Indian church, at least, 
that was where it had been; Ben Wilson built his store behind it. When Portuguese Joe went there first 
there was just one man, that was Portuguese Joe, in Gastown. 

"My sister was Aunt Sally of Stanley Park." 

(Note: Aunt Sally was a famous character on account of her residence in Stanley Park until quite recent 
years — after the war.) 

"Puchahls was the name of the place where the C.P.R. Depot and docks are now. Lots of big trees there, 
lots of bushes, much shade and little sunshine." 


Whoi Whoi, Stanley Park. 

Letter from Professor Chas. Hill-Tout, F.R.S.C, F. R.A.I. , etc. 

Frontenac Apartments 
Quebec Street, Vancouver 
August 2 nd 1932. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

The photograph you sent me, which records the demolition of one of the largest of the old time 
middens in Stanley Park is most interesting as well as worthy of preservation. 

I had no idea anything so reminiscent of the early days of Vancouver was in existence. The road 
around the park ran right through this midden, which was situated about where the Lumberman's 
Arch now stands, and its material composed mostly of calcined shells and ashes, was used 
largely for priming the roadbed around the park. In carting away the midden mass, numerous 
skeletons were brought to light. The bones of these were gathered up by the workmen, and 
placed in boxes for the Indians to take away, and bury in their burial grounds. 

I recall making selections of these bones, and sending them to the museum at Ottawa. This 
ancient campsite formed one of the largest of the native villages of the Squamish in earlier 
days — so the Indians informed me — but had been practically abandoned since the period when 
small pox first attacked the native people of this region. This scourge struck this village very 
severely, and practically depopulated it, hence its abandonment hereafter. 

Yours sincerely, 

Chas. Hill-Tout 

(Refer Bailey Bros, photo No. 541 , "deposit of shells eight feet deep on Park road.") 

Mountain View Cemetery. The Great Fire. 

F.E. Tilley, Bradner, 18 August 1932. "No, I am no relation of Tilley's of the stationery store in Granville, 
but I built the first house in the east end after the Fire. 

"I had a lot out there, and when I saw the fire coming I dragged out a trunk and buried it; that was the only 
thing I saved. 

"Afterwards a fellow came to me and said, 'Let's get some lumber; I'll help you build a shack, and share it 
with you.' I had $150, but if I spent that I was 'stumped.' Anyway, I went down to the mill" (Hastings 
Sawmill) "and said I wanted some lumber and showed young Alexander some money — I don't know 
which son it was — anyway he looked at it, fingered it for a moment, and then pushed it back across the 
desk, and said, 'You keep that.' I got the lumber I wanted. 

"Afterwards Capt. Tatlow came to me. I had another lot between his house and some two or three lots he 
wanted to make his place larger. Someone said, 'Charge him a good stiff price; he's got lots of money,' 
but he came to me and offered, I think it was $300, and I took it. I couldn't 'hold him up.' It worked out all 
right afterwards because when I got the contract to clear the cemetery, the Mountain View Cemetery, the 
city wanted two bondsmen. Some of the contractors from Seattle had cleared out without paying their 
men, and the city wanted two sureties. I went all 'round town with the papers, but no one wanted to 'back' 
them, so finally I went to Capt. Tatlow, and he said, 'Oh, pass them over here.' After that I could get a 
dozen bondsmen if I had wanted them." 


The Great Fire. John Morton's clearing. W.D. Haywood. 

W.D. Haywood, Rogers Building, July 1 932. "I came up here in September 1 885. After the Great Fire I 
helped to pick up the body of a man who was burned to death — he must have had two fifty-cent pieces in 
his pocket, because when we found them they were melted into one another. 

"John Morton's clearing was just a bit of a place, perhaps half an acre." 

The first train into Vancouver. 

A pioneer, name lost, 19 August 1932. "I was on the first train into Vancouver, just an engine and a box 
car filled with twenty men, labourers, and I was one of them. It must have been the 20 th , or maybe the 
22 nd March 1887; we got as far as Hastings Sawmill, the engine could get no further. 

"You see, there was a lot of trestle work on the C.P.R. line at first — along the shore" (see old maps of 
1886) "the ties and rails were down on these trestles, but there was nothing underneath to support them; 
the gang I was with was sent down to fill in the hollows under these trestles; the ties were hanging onto 
the rails by the spikes, and our work was to fill in under the ties with earth. There were a number of places 
to be filled in; the engine could get as far as Hastings Mill, but no further. Of course, the Hastings Mill was 
the end and the centre of everything going on at that time; the freight landed there. As soon as the engine 
and box car arrived the first thing we did was to fill in the hollows — we used push cars, pushed by hand." 





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Felling the trees. Jericho. Royal City Planing Mills. 

Percy DesBrisay, 1206 Maple Street, 28 May 1931. 

"I came to Vancouver in August 1 887 over the Douglas Road. They were clearing the trees off the West 
End at the time; I should say, from memory, that they were felling the trees west and south of the Hotel 

"Hastings Street was just a rough road then, sort of trail; there was a two-plank sidewalk, raised on posts; 
you had to be careful for the planks would spring up and down as you walked on them; the posts 
underneath were too far apart, or the ground on which they stood was too soft. I walked them many 
times, and know how they jumped up and down. 

"Sometimes we went out to Jericho for a picnic, we went to the south end of Carrall Street, left in a boat 
from the Royal City Planing Mills dock, returned the same way, and walked across to Water Street." 

Kitsilano Beach — Greer's Beach. 

A photograph taken by George S. Hutchings in July 1905 from his cottage at 2334 York Street — looking 
northeast — shows five houses grouped about the foot of Yew, Vine and Cornwall streets, a cluster of 
tents along the beach front from the foot of Yew to about Whyte Avenue produced, and the power poles 
in place for the new street car service, now called the Kitsilano street car line. All else, that is, north of 
Cornwall Street is second growth forest. A rough boat house shelter is at the foot of Yew Street not far 
from the present bathing pavilion. Mr. Hutchings says the first car service started 1 July 1905. 

A photograph taken by Mr. Calder in August 1 908 from the shore just west of the foot of Yew Street 
shows a flourishing town of thirty or forty tents — second row behind not visible in photo — spread along the 
beach front as far as the muskeg crossing at the foot of McNichol Avenue produced. A boat house shelter 
at the foot of Yew Street [is] almost on the site of the present pavilion. The flagpole displays the Canadian 
Red Ensign, so frequently seen from 1 887 until after the war in Vancouver, when its popularity on national 
holidays declined, and the Union Jack took its place. 

In the summer of 1 894 there were a few campers' tents on the rise of the low cliff at the foot of Yew 
Street; all above on the hill above was straggling forest; the big trees had been taken out, many of the 
others sawn up for fire wood for the city; a ragged remnant remained. 

About 1930 Major Matthews drew a map of Greer's Beach and its environs and features from the 
description of Mrs. J.Z. Hall, Sam Greer's daughter. It is in the Archives. 

The first residence north of Cornwall Street behind the beach was one of five houses built by the C.P.R. 
to lead others to build in that section when it was first thrown open for settlement, and which area was, at 
the time, a dirty black panorama of burned stumps. The house was 2030 Whyte Avenue (no photograph) 
and was bought by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Evans, and entered for occupancy in July 1910; they still 
reside there in 1933. Mr. Evans was one of the engine crew which drew the first train into Port Moody — 
the first transcontinental train — in July 1886. He retired as Division Master Mechanic in 1927. The house 
faces north, the photo shows muskeg in every direction. 


Kitsilano Beach — Copy of Preemption Record, 1873. 

Duplicate Record 

Forwarded to the Chief Commissioners of Lands and Works, 

Date 9 th May 1873 


Cancelled by Land Act 

Oct 1882. 

Country Land. 

British Columbia 

Land Ordinance, 1870. 

Form A. 


No. in District Register 1003 

District of New Westminster. 

Name of Pre-emptor, (in full) 
Date of Pre-emption record 
Number of Acres, (in words) 
Where situated 
Description of Boundaries of Claim 

Samuel Preston. 

14 th April 1873 

one hundred and sixty. 

English Bay 

commencing from the south east corner of lot 
1 92 Group 1 running forty chains east thence 
forty chains north to the beach thence along the 
beach to the north east corner of said lot 192 
and thence along its eastern boundary line to 
point of commencement. 

Henry V. Edmonds 
Gov't Agent. 
N.B. plan of the claim to be drawn on the back of this sheet 



ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 34 


Brief items of interest. 

Hugh E. Campbell, member of Volunteer fire brigade, 1 886. 

"The C.P.R. Roundhouse on False Creek was built in 1 888; prior to that they had used a bit of a shed a 
few yards south of Pender Street, close to Carrall Street; just an open shed. 

"Hastings Street, at the time of the Fire, June 1886, was just four blocks long; from Cambie Street to 
Westminster Avenue. 

"Bill Cordiner's daughter married Chas. Nelson, first reeve of West Vancouver. 'Navvy Jack' and Bill 
Cordiner helped to clear the forest off old Granville." 


Alderman W.H. Lembke of 2162 West 40 th Avenue, three years reeve of Point Grey Municipality, and an 
old timer there before it came into the city of Vancouver, tells me that the first house in Kerrisdale is now 
numbered 2941 West 42 nd Avenue, and is the home of Dr. J.M. Pearson. It stood on what is now West 
42 nd Avenue between Carnarvon and MacKenzie streets, and was originally on a five acre plot, and the 
house stood well back from the road. Kerrisdale gets its name from it. 

Horses racing on Howe Street. 

Walter E. Graveley, who purchased the first lot sold by the C.P.R. in Vancouver (southeast corner of 
Carrall and Cordova) lived at the Sunnyside Hotel and kept the deed in his trunk. When the Sunnyside 
burned in the fire of 1 886, the trunk was also burned, but the fierce draft wafted a bundle of documents 
out of the trunk, and they dropped on the beach, and a day later were picked up and delivered to Mr. 
Graveley who still, 1933, retains the ownership of the lot, and also the deed, much mud-begrimed. 

Mr. Graveley states that as the old Vancouver Opera House was being built they used to climb the brick 
walls and watch the horse races on Howe Street — from about Nelson to Georgia — from its walls. 

Early newspapers. 

Robert Mathison, who worked on the Herald, says it was the first newspaper. The News started 3 May 
1 886, and the Advertiser just after the fire of 1 3 June 1 886. 

The first newspaper on Burrard Inlet was a sheet called the Moodyville Tickler. 

3 July 1 931 - Theatres. 

The first theatre in Vancouver was Hart's Opera House on Carrall Street, the second the Imperial Opera 
House on Pender, and then of course there was the Vancouver Opera House. The Imperial Opera House 
was built in 1 889, but whether before or after the Vancouver Opera House has not been ascertained at 
this moment. 

When I came to Vancouver in November 1898 there was a small theatre called the Grand Theatre on 
Cordova Street, in the middle of the block between Cambie and Abbott Street — north side. It is still 

This theatre was a small affair. Its frontage was twenty-five feet, and its depth presumably about one 
hundred and twenty. In 1898 the Imperial Opera House was still in use, but as a Drill Hall. The only two 
theatres at that time which I recall were the "big" theatre, and the "little one," the former being the 
Vancouver Opera House, and the latter, the "Grand," and it was customary to go first to one, and then to 
the other, for there was no other one to go to; we alternated. 

The stage was very narrow. There were boxes on both sides. The boxes were just wide enough for one 
person to squeeze into, and were entered by a passage way, very narrow, from behind which led to the 
stage. Box holders sat one behind the other. All the formality of etiquette was observed by those using 
them; dress suits with white bosoms, and the ladies in low necked dresses. In the middle of the theatre 


were seats for the "common crowd" distant from the elite by a few inches only. In all, the boxes on each 
side of the small theatre probably held six persons (twelve persons in all) and these of course could reach 
down to those sitting in the seats in the middle of the theatre. 

In the back was a very small gallery of some sort. 

In the front was a tiny ticket office — about the size of a telephone booth. 

In latter years the building was used, first as a moving picture house. I am under the impression that the 
first moving pictures regularly shown were shown there; afterwards half a dozen cheap nasty moving 
picture houses sprung up on Cordova and Carrall Street in several disused stores. After the war I think 
the building was used as a commercial warehouse — butter and cheese, etc. — and finally I think A. R. Gun 
and Co., the confectionary wholesalers, used it as a distributing warehouse. 

In 1898 and for some years after, A.G. Ferrera, later the Italian Consul, conducted a restaurant about 
three doors west of the "Grand Theatre." It was an excellent restaurant with small boxes, hung with heavy 
curtains. The cuisine was perfect, and it was famed far and wide. As with the theatres, so with 
restaurants; it was either the Hotel Vancouver or the Ferrera restaurant, known as "The Savoy." It was a 
tiny affair as restaurants go now, built on a 25 x 120 foot lot, but it was exceedingly well conducted and 
the food was the best money could buy. 

It followed then that the leaders of Vancouver society would drive up in their carriages, or perhaps hired 
broughams or hansom cabs, step daintily to avoid any little mud there might be on the macadam road, 
and sail into the boxes, where they observed all the forms of a more resplendent edifice, and after the 
"show" was over, would repair to the Savoy in all their finery for supper; and there, too, the waiters and 
others performed their parts with equal delicacy. It was a pretty performance of good manners in primeval 
surroundings; they lived to fare better, but not with greater grace. 

One of the celebrated performers at the Grand was Jim Post, to my mind quite the equal of Harry Lauder 
or Charlie Chaplin, and others have agreed with me. 

J.S. Matthews 


3 July 1 931 , J.S.M. The first theatre in Vancouver was Hart's Opera House on Carrall Street, the second 
was the Imperial Opera House, then came the Vancouver Opera House. The Imperial Opera House was 
built by Crickmay and Robson in 1889. The Vancouver Opera House was built about the same time, but 
whether before or after has not been checked up. Prior to this there had been Sullivan's Hall, Blair's Hall, 
Keefer's Hall, the former two on Water Street, the latter on Alexander Street, also the Methodist Hall, and 
the school house. Hart's Opera House was also known as "The Rink" for roller skating. 

The Grand Theatre. 

In November 1898 when the writer (J.S. Matthews) reached Vancouver from New Zealand via San 
Francisco, there was a small theatre called the Grand Theatre on the north side of Cordova Street 
between Cambie and Abbott streets, still standing in 1 933. It was a small affair on a twenty-five foot lot. In 
1898 the Imperial Opera House was still in use, but as a Drill Hall. The only two theatres recalled as 
existing at that time were the "big" theatre, Opera House, and the Grand Theatre, and people alternated 
between one and the other. 

The Grand Theatre's stage was very narrow, probably 20 feet. There were boxes on both sides of the 
"auditorium," just wide enough for one person to squeeze into, and sit sideways looking towards the 
stage; the passage way to them — they were entered from the back like all boxes — was almost impassible 
for narrowness; box holders sat one behind the other, in a row facing the stage. All the formality of 
etiquette prevailed by the users, "boiled" shirts with big white fronts, dress suits with wide open bosoms, 
and the ladies in low neck dresses; both arrived in four wheel cabs or hansoms at the door, tiptoed 
through the mud to the sidewalk (wooden), and walked to their boxes. In all, the boxes held about 12 
persons, and these could reach down to the commoner herd in seats in the middle of the theatre. 


At the back there was a gallery of a sort. At the entrance was a tiny ticket office, about the size of a small 
telephone booth. 

A.G. Ferrera, later the Italian Consul, conducted an excellent restaurant, The Savoy, about three doors 
east. The cuisine was perfect, there were small "boxes" where heavy curtains concealed the occupants 
from vulgar gaze; it was famed far and wide for its service. A tiny affair as restaurants "go" now on a 25 x 
1 20 lot, but well conducted and food of the best. For the very elite the Vancouver Opera House and the 
Hotel Vancouver was, of course, the "proper" thing, but for the lesser socially elite, and the "young 
bloods," why, the Grand and the Savoy. 

Vancouver was full of transients at the time, many on their way to the Klondike gold rush, many merely 
attracted to Vancouver, and, of an evening, they congregated outside the "Grand" entrance to watch the 
leaders of society enter from their carriages, broughams and hansoms, step daintily across the mud of 
the macadam road, and sail into the boxes with all the formality of entering an imposing edifice. After the 
"show" was over, they repaired, in all their finery, to the "Savoy" for supper, and there, too, the waiters, 
etc. performed their duties with similar grandeur. It was a pretty performance of good manners amidst 
primeval surroundings; they all lived to fare better, but not to exceed with greater grace. One of the 
celebrated performers at the Grand was Jim Post, quite the equal of Harry Lauder or Charlie Chaplin of 
later days. 

Years afterwards the building was used, first as an early moving picture house, and the impression 
prevails that the first moving pictures were shown here. After the war the building was used as a 
commercial warehouse — butter and cheese — and finally, now, I think A.R. Gunn and Co. is using it as a 
distribution warehouse for a wholesale confectionary business. 

The early moving pictures were shown in half a dozen cheap, nasty moving picture theatres on Carrall 
and Cordova streets — converted empty stores. The Grand Theatre was afterwards known as the Savoy 




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The Grand Theatre. 

As an indication of the colourful old Grand Theatre's entertainment style, the following is extracted from 
the Province of unknown date (about 1930). 


Twenty-five years ago, when Hastings Street West from Cambie to Carrall was just a byway, and 
the main traffic stream flowed down Cambie and along Cordova streets, a popular amusement 
resort was the Grand Theatre. Situated on Cordova Street within easy reach of a dozen hotel 
bars, offering cheap entertainment (box seats 250), it appealed to Vancouver's rough and ready 
population, especially those sections of society which felt that the Opera house up on Granville 
was too tony. 

The Grand put up hearty vaudeville with more than a suggestion of Elizabethan humour. And a 
regular feature was the illustrated song (before moving pictures and with lantern slides coloured 
"fiercely," usually some sickening love scene, or perhaps something about "Mother" or "away 
down south.") The jokers of that day called it "ulcerated song," and certainly some would give you 
a pain. Crudely coloured slides, showing young men and young women going mournfully over a 
lake fitted most of the words which dealt with a longing to be "back home." 

"On the Banks of the Wabash" was the favourite, and so was "The Green Fields of Virginia." 

Fortified by visits to the adjacent bars, in a sympathetic mood, the audience just swallowed up 
such sentiments as: 


'Though I'm living in a mansion now 

With wealth at my command, 

My heart is longing for it every day, 

Where I spent life's golden hours 

In the vale of Shenandoah-oah-oah 

'Mid the green fields of Virginia far-har away 

Throaty tenor or beery baritone, standing in the wings, would put all he knew into "them 

But the prize of the lot was the "City of Sighs and Tears." A quarter of a century has rolled over 
the writer's snowy locks, but he can still quote this gem: 

"Poppa, tell me where is momma?" 
Asked a leetle cheild wan day; 
"I'm so lonely here without her, 
Poppa, where is momma, pray?" 
Poppa placed his arms around her 
As he sadly bent his head, 
And as tears ran down his whiskers 
These woids to her he said: 


"Down in the city of sighs and tears 

Under the gaslight's glare, 

Down in the city of aching hee-arts 

You'll find your momma there, 

Walking along where each painted face 

Tells its story of wasted yee-ars 

And perhaps she'll be thinking of you tonight 

In the see-hitty of si-highs and tee-ars." 


And, believe me, this lured laments from loggers, moans from miners, sighs from sailors, and 
tears from tramps. 

♦ ♦ '♦ 

AN old friend who traded to the port of 
Vancouver year-; ago recalls in a letter 
the amusement seafaring fellows used 
to find in a vaudeville show on Cordova 
street, the old Grand. In 
BALLADE those years an accepted form 
PATHETIC, of entertainment was the 
illustrated song — known to 
the seagoing lads as tjie "ulcerated" song. 
A tenor who used lavish gestures and put 
much sentiment into the ballads stood in 
the wings and dolefully rendered songs, 
while gaudily-colored lantern slides were 
shown on the screen. The prize one was 
known as ''The City of Sighs and Tears," 
and went something like this: 

"Poppa, tell me where is momma," 
Said a little chee-ild one day. 
"I'm so lonely here without her. 
Poppa, where is momma, pray?" 
Poppa placed his arms about her 
As he wip^d a teee-ar away 
And to his lee-ittle lassie 
These words to her did say: 

"Down in thuh see-ity of si-highs and 

Under the bright lights' glare, 
Down in thuh see-ity of busted hearts 
You'll find your mu-huther there, 
Walking along where each pay-hainted 

face » 

Tells its sto-hory of wa-hasted yeec-ar*. 
But perhaps she is thinking of you to- 

In thuh see-ity of si-high* and tii-iuyfc* 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 36 


15 August 1932 - Creeks. C.P.R. Reserve. 

Mrs. (Major) J.S. Matthews, nee Nursing Sister E.E. Edwardes, R.N. and one of the first nurses to 
graduate, about 1 902, from the old Vancouver General Hospital on Cambie Street at the corner of Pender 

"When off duty we used to take walks. I recall one night two of us went along Richards Street. 
Somewhere about Nelson Street we crossed a little bridge, beneath which a small torrent of water ran 
towards False Creek. It was dark and raining, and we nearly broke our necks." 

(See Early Vancouver, 1 931 , Matthews, Gallagher's construction camp at time of fire, 1 886.) 

Imperial Oil Company Limited. 

J.S. Matthews: In 1902, and perhaps for some years later, a small creek of water came down practically 
where Nelson Street runs, and emptied into False Creek about Hamilton Street produced. At that time the 
C.P.R. lands — C.P.R. Reserve — south of Smythe Street and east of Homer Street, was in scrub bushes, 
10 to 20 feet high, with patches here and there of grass. At that time the Imperial Oil Company Limited 
were doing an enormous coal oil business, both cases and barrels — wood barrels, for it was before days 
of steel barrels and tank wagons and bulk deliveries of petroleum products — and these were shipped in 
very large quantities by rail and steamer, for at that time British Columbia was largely dependent upon 
kerosene for interior lighting; the gasoline engine for generating electric power for small plants was not 
unknown, but very rare; practically all farms, and all small towns, canneries, etc. used coal oil. This 
company had a complete monopoly of the petroleum business in the whole of British Columbia — such 
opposition as they had was on lubricating oils and greases, and their only warehouse west of Nelson was 
at Vancouver, corner Smythe and Cambie, where they had one storage tank for coal oil, about 30 feet 
high, 30 feet diameter; no storage at all for gasoline — an odd barrel was received from the east once now 
and again, what other small amount came was in cases for the use of drug stores and dry cleaners. 

The delivery of the kerosene oil was made from the warehouse to the wharf and freight shed of the 
C.P.R. by gooseneck wagon carrying about 75 cases (80 lbs each) and drawn by two horses over a 
macadam road (Cambie). 

On Sundays the horses had been kept in the stable, until one day about 1902 the foreman conceived the 
bright idea of renting the C.P.R. Reserve to run them out on Sundays, give them fresh air and a bit of 
grass. He made some private arrangement with the C.P.R. and paid — out of his own pocket — ten dollars 
a year for the use of the ground, and agreed to keep up the rude wooden fence which ran along the 
boundary from Cambie up Smythe to Homer, thence south along east side of Homer to nearly Drake. On 
the False Creek side the fence ran in a circular manner beneath the embankment of the C.P.R. which in 
turn followed the curve of the shore. The horses got water from the little creek mentioned above. The 
whole scene was quite pretty in summer, a sort of wild shrubbery. The arrangement continued for two or 
three more summers. 

The shoreline of False Creek came very close to the Imperial Oil Company Limited's warehouse — less 
than 100 yards from Smythe Street. 


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ltem# EarlyVan_v2_137 

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The first gasoline service station. J.C. Rollston. 

The first gasoline station in Canada, possibly in North America, for the delivery of gasoline from a filling 
tank through a hose pipe to motor cars was started at the southeast corner of Cambie and Smythe Street, 
approximately after June 1 908. The circumstances which suggested it were these. In order to give a more 
graphic outline in detail it is necessary to go back years. 

The first intimation that a fuel for the use of internal combustion in motor cars, or as they were first called, 
automobiles, was received over the telephone of the Imperial Oil Company Limited, then having a 
monopoly of the sale of gasoline in Vancouver, by J.S. Matthews (Major), then a clerk in their office. The 
company was small at the time, its office staff was a manager, a travelling salesman and clerk- 
stenographer. The voice stated that Mr. Hendry, manager of the Hastings Sawmill, to whom the Imperial 
Oil Company Limited sold considerable petroleum lubricating oil, was in need of gasoline for his 
automobile; had they any in stock. The clerk explained that while they could get it in barrels — wood 
barrels; it was before the steel barrel was thought of — the barrels would have to be brought from the east; 
were very unsatisfactory as the gasoline escaped, more or less, through the wood. The voice asked if it 
was the gasoline used in automobiles; the clerk replied he had no knowledge, presumed it was; they sold 
it to drug stores for cleaning gloves, and to plumbers for fire pots. He also said they had benzine — a 
name subsequently forbidden by law to be used, as it was a misnomer — which they sold to salmon 
canneries for use in dissolving the solid lacquer to be applied to canned salmon to prevent the cans 
rusting. They could get 76 degree Baume gasoline in cases from the east; that was used once in a while 
for "Moore" hanging lamps, an early system of gasoline vapour lighting, the new system of lighting 
country hotels, halls, etc., by putting the 76 gasoline in a small tank, pumping an air pressure of about 10 
or 1 5 lbs, which forced the gasoline vapour through a tiny pipe running like a wire to the burning lamp and 
its net mantle. 

The outcome of the conversation was that a case of "D.S. Gasoline" (deodorized stove gasoline) used by 
plumbers was sent to the Hastings Mill; no more was heard of it, and further supplies were made later. 

A week or so later the same voice asked the same clerk if they had any lubricating oil for automobiles. 
This was a more difficult problem for the clerk, who had never seen a motor car, but had read of them, 
and knew that if they burned gasoline there must be considerable heat somewhere. He sparred for time 
to see what they had; actually, he knew nothing of the subject. He decided that he would have to "take a 
chance," so after considering all the physical conditions he judged might exist where gasoline was 
burned, etc., etc., he sent down a four gallon can of "Atlantic Red," in a blank can. It worked. In fact, it 
worked so well that, under another name, millions upon millions of the same oil has since been marketed 
under fancy names and at fancy prices. 

The Atlantic Red Engine oil was the same oil that the Hastings Sawmill had been buying in large 
quantities in barrels for use on their planing and other fast running machines. They paid 30 to 32 cents 
per imperial gallon in barrels, wood barrels. 

The first garage. 

It was soon afterwards that the first garage or repair shop appeared, started by a Mr. Annand of a bicycle 
repair shop about fifty feet east of the southeast corner of Hastings and Columbia Avenue; later the West 
End Garage started at 924 Granville. Both institutions were primitive; Mr. Annand's bicycle business was 
gradually supplanted by the increasing automobile business; the West End Garage had started as a 
repair garage for cars. The "Vancouver Garage" and the "West End Garage" soon became rivals; they 
also began introducing special oils for motor cars, and this fact precipitated trouble for the Imperial Oil 
Company Limited, and led to the introduction of the filling station. How this came about is as follows. 

The clerk Matthews had been promoted to half-time city salesman, and on a visit to the Annand Garage 
one day was given a "terrible dressing down" by Mr. Annand because his employers were selling 
lubricating oil to automobile owners, to wit, the manager of the Hastings Sawmill. It appears that Mr. 
Hendry's car had needed some attention, had been taken to Mr. Annand's bicycle shop, Mr. Annand had 
put some lubricating oil in it, and charged $1 .50 per gallon. Mr. Hendry's office man had "kicked" at the 


price for the oil; said they had been buying very good oil from the oil company for thirty cents per gallon; 
said "I presume your other charges were in proportion." A five- or six-year fight between the garages and 
the oil company was on. 

Time went on; more garages started up. They were all compelled to buy their gasoline from the Imperial 
company — there was no other source of supply for gasoline — and the company charged them twenty 
cents per gallon in tank wagons — and delivered it, at first in big iron drums of 90 gallons odd, afterwards a 
new type of delivery created by the conversion of the old kerosene (coal oil) tank wagons; the kerosene 
sales were declining with the spread of electric light, the gasoline sales were increasing, and for a time 
tank wagon carried both products in compartments with a blue painted tap for coal oil and a red one for 
gasoline. The first tank wagon in Vancouver (coal oil) held a total of 280 gallons divided into three 
compartments; then a "monster" wagon came holding no less than 420 gallons, also in three 
compartments. All were horse-drawn. The garages put in underground storage tanks, and the S.F. 
Bowser Co. furnished pumps, placed on the curb of the sidewalk, simple things, an adaptation of the 
former kerosene tank pump used for coal oil in grocery stores. Various agents, and also the garages, 
obtained agencies for diverse brands of lubricating oil, which they diligently "pushed" to the exclusion of 
Imperial Oil products of like nature. The animosity between the company and the garages on the matter 
of lubricating oils increased, and the garages had the upper hand, for whenever an automobile was 
brought into the repair shop, the garages immediately told the owner — frequently, regardless of the 
truth — that the "trouble" was with the oil, if it was other than their own, and especially if it was Imperial Oil. 
The Imperial Oil lubricating sales did not decrease; new cars were arriving, but the proportion of sales of 
gallons of lubricating oil grew lower and lower. They introduced a very fine oil called "Zerolene," but it 
made no headway. 

In addition to this the garages sold the gasoline which they purchased for 200 per gallon from the 
monopoly for 350 to the car owner. The oil company protested; the garage man became violent at their 
interference, the car owner blamed the oil company for the "high price of gasoline," and took vengeance 
on the oil company by buying the garage man's lubricating oils, which suited the garage man exactly. The 
poor company caught it both ways, yet was the innocent party in both. And the travelling salesman 
Matthews, the company's only salesman at that time, "caught it" from both and all, including his 

Finally in desperation, one day he prevailed upon the manager, CM. Rolston, to visit the West End 
Garage. They received so "warm" a welcome there that Mr. Rolston was glad to escape. Together they 
returned to the office. The company did not want to enter the retail business. 

The first filling station for gasoline. 

Finally the manager reluctantly gave permission. Matthews had long contended that the only way, or 
course, was to sell the automobile owner direct. Matthews was told he could tell automobile owners they 
could have their cars filled at the Imperial Oil warehouse for twenty cents per gallon. 

The next morning Matthews was passing the old Court House on Hastings Street when a motor car 
chugged past; he signaled for it to stop — there were very few cars in Vancouver then — and informed the 
driver that gasoline could be got for twenty cents. The driver expressed astonishment and surprise. At the 
moment there was a huge cotton banner strung across the front of the West End Garage on Granville 
Street which read, "GASOLINE. 300." 

This appeared following a "fight" between the garages; they had been charging 350; thirty-five cents for 
liquid piped out of tank wagon into their tanks for twenty cents. No tax those days — 150 profit on 200. 

That afternoon the first car appeared at the warehouse on Smythe Street and was filled by pouring from 
big five gallon buckets into a big funnel. It was a messy business, and dangerous from the slopping. The 
next day two or three came, then more, until finally they became a nuisance. They got in the warehouse 
yard, the horse-drawn trucks of the company could not get next their loading platforms; loaded teams 
could not get out of the yard; finally the foreman, R.C. (Bud) Mulligan locked the yard gate, and stuck up a 
sign, "Automobiles not allowed inside." The bucket brigade functioned in the roadway, after packing the 
heavy buckets, one in each hand, backwards and forwards. 


CM. Rolston then conceived of the idea of the service station. Facing the street he built an open side 
shed — it was summertime, 1908 — of corrugated iron. It was about five feet deep, ten or twelve wide, and 
eight feet high in front, with plank floor. In the centre was built a tapered concrete pillar, about three feet 
high, twelve inches square at top, and on this was placed a thirteen gallon kitchen water tank fitted with a 
glass (steam gauge glass) gauge marked off in one gallons with white paint dots. The tank was 
connected with the main storage tank. A bar room chair and a cushion for it completed the picture, 
excepting for the hose pipe, a piece ten feet long of garden hose without nozzle at end, which was 
drained with thumb and finger by the attendant after filling a car, and removed at night. 

The system was so highly successful that soon all cars in Vancouver took their gasoline at Smythe and 
Cambie Street, the service grew inadequate — on a pre-holiday afternoon the writer has seen fifty or sixty 
cars in line awaiting their turn to be filled up. This caused much adverse comment; the poor company 
caught it from all angles. The remedy of a second tank was quickly applied, but the "damage" had been 
done. Garage owners were approached by the Shell Company for support if they established, and 
naturally got that support in full measure. 

But in the meantime, the fame of the establishment had spread. Enquiries were received from all parts of 
North America as to how it was operated, and soon far more elaborate filling stations than the original one 
began to be erected in the United States. Vancouver was slow to adopt the ornamental filling station. 

The first service station attendant. 

The first service station attendant was Mr. J.C. Rollston, an uncle of Mr. CM. Rolston — names spelt 
differently — and father of Mr. Chester S. Rollston, inventor of the endless clothesline now used, and 
subsequently manager of McLennan, McFeely and Prior, the large hardware merchants. He was an 
elderly man, an artist of note in his younger days, a kindly pious gentleman who for want of something 
better to do had been glad to accept the position of night watchman at the company's plant. He was 
installed as attendant. At first, he would sometimes sit for half a day without serving one car. He still lives 
(1 933) at 858 Burrard Street where he has lived for over twenty years. 

In later years, the Imperial Oil Company Limited added a second filling station on 12 th Avenue (north side) 
near Granville Street, then a very elaborate one at the southeast corner of Cordova and Columbia; the 
former one was a tin shed. Then the number increased rapidly, private firms operating public garages 
installed sidewalk pumps. These sidewalk pumps became a nuisance to traffic on account of motor cars 
drawing up in front of them and blocking the roadway, and were finally forbidden by civic bylaw. 

During the war the Imperial Oil service stations — they had three or perhaps four in operation then — were 
operated by young ladies, women of good family in most cases. They wore a uniform of khaki coat, 
breeches, and leather leggings. They continued on this work until after 1919, when the troops returned. 
Their employment was a war emergency. 

After the reestablishment following war conditions, service stations and garages grew in number so 
rapidly in all directions that each month, it seemed, saw the addition of a score or more. 

But the parent of them all was the little tin shed on Cambie and Smythe streets with its concrete pedestal 
and 13 gallon red tank, its bit of garden hose, the barroom chair and cushion, and the white-haired old 
gentleman sitting patiently for the customer who never came to the only filling station in all Vancouver. 

The old corrugated iron shelter continued in use for approximately two years, and was replaced by a plain 
concrete shelter opened for business on 8 August 1910 — see photographs in possession of Imperial Oil 
Limited — built into a concrete wall which replaced the old board fence. One tank only was built in the new 
structure; it was afterwards that business demanded a second tank on top of the wall. J.C. Rollston was 
still the only attendant when the new structure was opened. 

Read by CM. Rolston and by him approved, 24 March 1933. 

J.S. Matthews, late "the clerk." 


False Creek. Indians. Campbell Avenue. 

Mr. Langley of R. Kerr Houlgate and Summerfield Ltd., financial agents, Imperial Bank Building, Granville 
Street, 29 August 1932. 

"I recall very clearly that, about 1894 I should say, having seen the tidewater flowing three feet deep 
through the low level ground which ran north and south just a few yards east of Campbell Avenue, across 
Venables Street, and then on under where the Hastings Street Viaduct now crosses. 

"They told me that the Indians used to cross in their canoes there from Burrard Inlet to False Creek." 

His Worship Mayor Louis D. Taylor. Granville Street South. Fairview. 

At the conclusion of a lantern slide lecture given before the City Council in the City Hall, 1 5 March 1 932, 
by Major J. S. Matthews, His Worship, in complimenting the lecturer, said: 

"I well recall that road through the forest." (Now Granville Street South.) "When I came here in 1897, I 
took a bicycle and went out to the canneries at Steveston and Eburne to see if I could hustle a job and," 
(feelingly) "I remember those hills, there were a lot of them; I went up and down each one, and it was 
pretty hard work too." 

In 1897 Granville Street South — Centre Street then as far as the city limits at 16 th Avenue; beyond that it 
is hard to say what it was called — the custom was to refer to it as "out on the Eburne Road," or "out on the 
Steveston Road"; a two-horse stage wagon with two or three cross seats and canvas flap sides left 
Vancouver daily with one or two passengers. Beyond 1 6 th Avenue it entered the forest and traversed a 
narrow track which may or may not have had a little gravel on it; this is not recalled. A comparison might 
be made to the Westminster Road which, beyond Central Park towards Westminster, was not wider than 
ten feet in places, no gravel surfacing, just earth, here and there a boulder protruded and was driven 
around, both sides of trail lined with brush, bushes and stumps; in summer very dusty, in winter very 
muddy. The "Eburne Road" differed only in that it was lined on both sides with forest whereas the 
Westminster Road ran through second growth. 

Under such circumstances it might be expected that His Worship Mayor Taylor would have had to "work 
pretty hard" peddling a bicycle up the long hills over such a primeval road. The writer has done it and 

Police station and gaol. 

There are two photographs of the "City Hall" in a tent at the foot of Carrall Street, June 1 886. One shows 
the City Council seated before it, the other four police. 

Adjoining or nearby the tent "City Hall" was another tent in which were sheltered those under arrest — 
usually a collection of "soreheads" sobering up after "last night's jag" — they were in leg irons. 

Opening of Burrard Bridge, 1 July 1932. 

At the opening of the Burrard Bridge on the afternoon of 1 July 1932 by His Worship Mayor Louis D. 
Taylor, there were especially invited as representative of bygone days, the following: 

Mrs. Ruth Morton, relict (second wife) of the late John Morton, first settler of Vancouver, and who 
preempted the West End of Vancouver in November 1862. 

Henry S. Rowlings, son of W.H. Rowlings, who in September 1 868 preempted District Lot 258 on the 
north bank of the North Arm of the Fraser River, now part of the city of Vancouver, formerly known as 
South Vancouver. 

Mrs. J.G.L. Abbott and her brother, F.W. Alexander, children of R.H. Alexander, formerly manager of 
the Hastings Sawmill, the unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of Vancouver in the first civic election, and 


one of the "Overlanders of 1 862," coming to British Columbia from Eastern Canada by land in that year, 
and resident of Burrard Inlet since at least 1870. 

Mrs. J.Z. Hall (Mrs. Jessie Columbia Hall), relict of the late J.Z. Hall Esq., and daughter of Sam Greer of 
Greer's Beach (Kitsilano Beach), first white settler about Kitsilano Beach. 

Rev. Chas. M. Tate, Methodist Indian Missionary, who assisted in the dedication of the first (Indian) 
church in Vancouver (1876). He first came to Granville in 1873. 

Mrs. M.A. MacLean, relict of the first mayor of Vancouver. She first came to Vancouver in the fall of 

August Kitsilano, son of Hay-tulk, or Hra-tilt, and grandson of Chief Haatsa-la-nough of Chaythoos, 
Stanley Park. August Jack, or August Haatsalano, was born under the Burrard Bridge, about 1878, in the 
Indian village of Snauq. 

Andrew Paull (Qoitchetahl), a descendant of the celebrated Squamish heroic Qoitchetahl, the serpent 
slayer. He is secretary of the Squamish Indian Council of Chiefs. 

Chief Matthias Capilano, Chief of the Capilano Band, Capilano River, and a descendant of Payt-sa- 
mauq, half brother to "Old Chief Capilano. 

Mrs. Morton, Mrs. Hall, Mr. Tate, Mr. Rowlings and Andrew Paull attended. Kitsilano and Capilano were 
out of town. Mrs. MacLean was poorly. 

Excepting Andrew Paull (Qoitchetahl), a young man, Mrs. MacLean, and Chief Capilano, also a young 
man, all the above had seen Hastings and Granville Street in standing forest. 

The famous maple tree. "Only God can make a tree." 

The Maple Tree Monument at the foot of Carrall Street has an inscription, "Only God can make a tree." 
The following is believed to be the complete poem. 

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth's sweet flowing breast 

A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray 

A tree that may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain, who intimately lives with rain 

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. 

Beach pyjamas. 

These were first seen in Vancouver in the early summer of 1 930, and a few only of the "braver" ones 
wore them; some thought them "startling," others had as many comments as there were minds and 
tongues to utter. By 1 932 all young ladies, and many old ones, were wearing beach pyjamas. They may 
not be the most modest of garments, but are certainly an improvement on the extensive "decolletage" of 
post war years prior to 1 930. 

Bobbed hair. 

The old adage, "Beware of the long haired man and the short haired woman; they're both crazy," no 
longer applies, but at one time, before bobbed hair, it was a fairly safe diagnosis of the "situation." The 
woman was frequently some old battle-axe with a face which would stop a clock and the man was 
frequently effeminate. There were exceptions. 





Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 39 



















ltem# EarlyVan_v2_140 


City Hall. Market Hall. Main Street. Archives. Tower. 

5 January 1932, J.S. Matthews. The Tower of the old City Hall, formerly Market Hall, on Main Street, and 
for so many years the prominent landmark, especially in photographs of early views of Vancouver was 
removed during the Christmas week 1 931 . The reason was that rain water was leaking into the Archives 
Room below, a dirty dilapidated chamber used without heat, light or anything else, and furnished with an 
old desk and broken chair, and a small box for a filing cabinet. 

The story is this. In May 1931, Major J.S. Matthews, for many years an amateur collector and once a 
director of the City Museum, was descending the Vancouver Public Library after a "mourn" with a curator 
of the Museum on the lack of accommodation and facilities for preserving historical records. E.S. 
Robinson, the Librarian, was ascending the staircase. They stopped for a moment, when Major Matthews 
said, "I suppose you have no place you could put me." Mr. Robinson replied that he thought there was. A 
search was made, first in the basement of the Public Library, then in the basement of the old City Hall, 
where in a huge built in wooden box 10 feet wide and 30 feet long beside the furnace the city records 
were kept. Finally the caretaker's room in the tower was selected, a dirty, empty room which had not been 
cleaned for many years, festooned with cobwebs and falling wallpaper, and with the ceiling plaster largely 
fallen to the floor through dampness caused by a leaking roof. Here a start was made in May 1 931 . A 
year later, in July 1932, the room was cleaned and the wallpaper removed. In the meantime it was used 
secretly, in shame that the people of Vancouver should learn that their archives were kept in such a 

The City Museum has occupied the top floor of the Library Building since about 1 902, since the building 
was presented to the city by Mr. Andrew Carnegie; the two lower floors were used as a library; both 
institutions shared the basement, where the furnace, a room for museum junk, and old newspaper files 
for the library were stored. The Museum was and is still terribly cramped for space on the top floor. 

The janitor's garret — the tower of the old City Hall — was cleaned out a bit, and an old desk, which fell 
apart as it was being carried up, two bar room chairs, and a cardboard filing box constituted the furniture; 
there was no heat, light or water, and as this was being effected, more of the ceiling plaster fell. A single 
document was placed in the filing box, and Major Matthews relates that he looked at the poor forlorn thing 
and wondered; wondered if it would grow. 

A year later, May 1 932, a special committee of the City Council (Aldermen Bennett, Fraser, McRae and 
Lembke) was, at Major Matthews's urging before the Council, appointed to enquire, and as a result of 
their report the Library Board was asked to institute an archives department. They appointed Major 
Matthews as "archivist" with an honorarium of $30 a month, but with strict admonition that he was not to 
consider himself an employee of the board nor entitled to any privileges. This arrangement lasted two 
weeks very amicably; then the Librarian informed the archivist that the Board had made a mistake; that 
they should have appointed him (the librarian) as "archivist." 

Of the $850 allotted by the Council for 1 932 activities, about one quarter was spent on repairs to the 
building, during the year the archivist received $360 salary and probably $100 expenses; the balance 
went for lantern slides, photographs, etc., etc. Whether the entire appropriation was used up is not known 
at this writing; trouble developed, and in December the archivist withdrew, quietly removing all material 
before doing so; he left a bare empty room, on which had laboured for over eighteen months with much 
enthusiasm and effort. 

Prior to retiring, Major Matthews had told his troubles to Hon. Lt. Col. W.H. Malkin, first mayor of Greater 
Vancouver, 1929-1930, who called a private luncheon at the Georgia Hotel. There were present Col. 
Malkin; John Hosie, provincial archivist, Victoria; City Solicitor J. B. Williams; Roy Brown, editor-in-chief, 
the Vancouver Daily Province; and Major Harold Brown, president Board of Trade; and Major Matthews. 
Also D.N. Hossie, K.C., president Canadian Club. Another larger luncheon was promised by Col. Malkin. 

When it was discovered that the Archives material was missing, the archivist received two letters 
demanding its return, the first by 27 December 1 932, and the second by 23 January 1 933; of neither was 
any notice, other than acknowledgement, taken. There were many interviews, but the archivist was 


This removal of the archives material, and refusal to give it up — it was stored in various places — was due 
to Major Matthews's recognition that the Public Library was no place for an archives department to 
function. The Board met once a month for an hour or so, sometimes there was not a quorum, and the 
meetings were frequently postponed to get one. This placed the Librarian in control, and while in some 
respects he was sympathetic, in others he was very much the reverse. Further, he had a circulating 
library issuing 1 .25 million books a year to look after, and still further, about September a two-column 
article appeared in the Province recounting the enormous loss of books, several hundred out of the 
Reference Department. How could people be asked to deposit their historical treasures in an institution 
which acknowledged the annual loss of hundreds of books out of a department supposed to be theft 
proof. For weeks at a time, the Librarian would never enter the "archives" department; of the board one 
member only, of the five, was in it in two years. 

At the end of 1932, Major Matthews withdrew his material, and continued to work on at his home without 
remuneration or expense allowance, and borrowed the money for his living expenses. 

Among those who were of very material help during this trying time was (Worshipful Master) W.J. Moore, 
Esq., of W.J. Moore Photo Co., who did much, very much, work on the chance that someday he would be 
paid, and much more for nothing at all. Others were Alderman W.J. Twiss; W.H. Lembke; City Solicitor 
J.B. Williams; John Hosie, provincial archivist; Alderman Fraser; Col. Malkin; there was no lack of 
support, but to get anything established in an orderly way seemed impossible. Day after day passed; 
nothing done. The genealogical forms prepared in July and paid for by the Canadian Club were still 
unmailed in February; no funds for envelopes nor stamps; no proper place to have them sent back to if 
there had been. Two years has passed, and more, since Major Matthews first started; it was hard work to 
keep on; to stop would be even worse. 



Superintendent D. B* Brankin Finds His New 

Charges Interesting Experiment— Little 
Rebels Settling Down to Life at Co' 
quitlam Industrial School Under 
- JC -,oso Gentle Treatment* 


I WAS signing my name on the visitors' register — a surprise 
visit — at the entrance to the Provincial Industrial School 
for Boys T Coquitlam, when a voice from behind cheerily ex- 
claimed "Well, well, look who's here.'* Turning round, there 
stood Superintendent D. B. Brankin, late of that muddy ditch 
"Regina Trench/' Somme T where as a sergeant, he narrowly 
missed being decorated with a D. C. M* 

"So you've ousted Veregin from his command'*! 

"Not wholly true," parried Mr. Brankin, 'though I am in j 
charge of ninety-two young Douks," Then he began to tell ; 
me the story. 

Pint it w» 
then some Hymn*. The:/ a*ng * — 
san* until it *eemed they must tire. 
v<*t with a willingness which clearly 
demonstrated them to be happy — 
as circumstances perm Uted^and to 
appreciate the Kindness, and tlw ten- 
der yat firm discipline under wWfift 
the? Hts. Their faces showed searc* 
& *mlle: lac** for boy* too solemn, 
as of children who knew neither 
laughter KOr shouts. At least they 
ceased, and we went nearer to thank 

Our word* of appreciation were 
scarcely out of our lips when a chorus 
of voices exclaimed "You're very wel- 
come* sir," The leading boy singer 
stepped rorward, smiled a* we grasped 
bis hand, the group dispersed and 
itraggled off to their sleeping 

1$ HI. WARDED-. 

"Llfee most boy*, they were a bit 
unmanagable at first; bow they give 
no trouble. About Half are big boys, 
eighteen and under, the remainder. 
little fellows. The bigger Boys told 
me, u-heh they final came, that they 
would not work. My response w*a 
that I did not want them to: that 3 
had other boy* who would do all the 
itort: that ■ I wanted done- I told. 
them that when I wanted anything 
done I would let them know, and I 
should eKpect them to do It. but Just 
fch*n 1 did not ™*nt anything. 

"They next told me they would eat 
only such food as they wanted to eat. 
I enquired what food they would Like* 
I would get it for them; but I told 
them franJi]T that, tt they wanted a 
special menu. different from that ol 
my other boys, that I would not nre- 
pare it for them; they would bare to 
do that ehanwfwa The big boys 
ae^-med glad enough to do this, end 
also promised me to look after the 
smaller one?L so I set them up in a 
kitchen of their own. Mrs. Brink m 
had plenty of food of the Kind they 
asked for put where they could gel 


You ?ee, they will not eat flesh 
lien, r.or egg*; they want ra*- 

"After two or three day*. It chanced^ 
I VM paasing by when en* ol th# 
boys beckoned to me to come to him. 
ao I went over. The boy aald. This 
is foolish." 

""Of course it's foolish',* I agreed. 
■But you don't wwtt to work, and I 
don't want you to work/ The boy 
answered that they wanted to work, 
so 1 told him I would think shout It, 


"That afternoon I waa again ap- 
proached: 'When could we start 
work?' I asked when they wished to 
start: the answer waa, 'at once." I 
promised i would consider it further. 
tut the next day I got acme cinches 
snd told them to sit down on them, 
which they did— ail day. 

"But the following day I told them 
1 h»d decided they could start. They 
started at once, have been, at It Since, 
uid work like good boy*. They're up 
at the playground now; come on tip, 
and III gflt them to sing for you." 

At the far end of the playground 
some were playing ball: nearer, others 
were at marbtes. The sun was sJewiy 
setting: it would soon he time for 
them to get to their dormitories, Mr. 
BTankln called, and a flock of young- 
iters earns running from all directions 
like chEefcens to a clucking hen. They 
ranged themselves Into a tightly 

ve«teWes's6lads?s^ups and rentable knitted group: the taller ones in the 
oil* such as olive oil. They are fond ^ tear, the shorter in front, 
tl fStaSdsurSlowerseedV 1 mutt "Boys,™ said the superintendent 
sav the fttKW boys carried out thai* ' With a amlle, "th*aa ladiea and geatle- 
prorXa ma manner s.='-r-tory to men art from Van convey 1 have 


been telling them how nicely you can 
sing. I would like you to stpg a song 
or two for them," 


"We have been bothered lately wtt* 
bird* eating our crops, so we decided 
to make acme scarecrow*, and stand 
tnem out in the fields. Then 
thought of a better plan. T took t 

bigger Dsukhouor boys out on the behaved, ' bareheaded w»i. w 
farnV. stationed them at intervals solemnly singing in splendid rhythxn 
Sldst the foliage, with orders to stay j perfect ««!«». *" "" .?" ™5 
there, and shoo the bird* away. I little fellow who stood _«rFsth^, hajf 
feold them all they had to do was to hidden 
atay exactly where they ware put, and * 


There was. no heMtation. no ac- 
, eompatilment, no leader,' no mova- 
I took the ment; song >ust hurst forth from welt 
bareheaded boye. all 

shoo the birds away: nothing more 
They were hot to work, nor to wander 
around. The weather was Tine and 
the sunanlne was good, for them. 

midst hi* taller brethren; 
, ehrill alto voices carrying song far 
over the beautiful grounds resplen- 
dent in a mass of flowering blooms, 
Wt removed our hats; at the con- 
clusion of each hymn all boy* rever- 
ently bowed their heads. 

quarters. Even their aversion to 
RidTchtnj tn Iffum— tt military fflrnii- 
tion— Sa respected. 

It waa a touching, hopeful scene; 
not without an element Of Badces* 
that these little chaps, through no 
Gauft o? their own. should 
separated from those they loved, yet 
oonviocingly for their good- An exam- 
ination of their schoolhooKs, lying 
on their desks, allowed, evidence of 
very good penmanship, and skill at 
freehand drawing. 

At the Other end ol the ground: 
the Doukho&or children ax* treated 
as ft distinct and separate unity — the 
boys of the Industrial School proper 
stood "at ease," under their masters, 
awaiting the proper moment for the 
proud ceremony of lowering the 
Union Jack at the close of the day. 
The bays came to "attention " the 
bugles blew the "'Retreat." Slowly 
the emblem of our land was lowered, 
inch by Inch, the boys' band poured 
forth the Rational Anthem. A few 
sharp commands, "form four*.'* "quick 
march.'"' and to "Onward. Christian 
Soldiers,' 1 hy the band in front, they 
marched off to bed; an Impressive 
ceremony, dignified and orderly, fu- 
tures *o lacking in the dispersal of 
the Doukhobor children a few mo- 
ment* previously. 

"What do you expect to make of 
them?" we queried of the superln* 
lendent, with our mind on the young 

"Make or them?" responded Mr. 
Braitftlh. "w-elL we nave much hope; 
there's possibilities in moat of those 
boys. But It will take patience and— 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_141 

June 1932 -White swans. Steveston. Fraser River. 

Mr. Joseph L. Graham, whose father preempted a section of land, he said, "close to" the Indian Reserve, 
Canoe Pass, Fraser River. 

"In the early '80s I have seen great flocks, great flocks of them — white swans — on the Fraser River, near 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_142 



ltem# EarlyVan_v2_143 


Ileal Col. TO./owMlej, first Cor*yn*,«nd>-nc} of-ffCef of.?7?iT>ha i» Vattcouver.^a 
• and >r> ay o * o.f Vancouver n«. 'f OJ ty 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_144 


Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, 1 901 . His Worship Lt. Col. T.O. 
Town ley. 


Newmarket, Ont. 
Jan 23 rd 1932. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

Re Royal Visit in 1901 

I will try and put down a few more bits from memory. First, regarding the present King 
George's visit to Vancouver in 1 901 . He was then styled the Duke of Cornwall and York — the title 
of Prince of Wales was not bestowed upon him until after his return to London after the famous 
world's tour which embraced all the British Empire except India — which was the subject of a 
separate visit or durbar. When it became known that Canada was to be included in his itinerary 
on his way back from Australia, I got busy — I was Mayor of Vancouver at the time. According to 
the published itinerary through Canada, the Royal party was scheduled to visit Victoria — merely 
passing through Vancouver en route. I called together a few of the prominent citizens, and it was 
decided to send a man to Ottawa to get first hand information. Mr. E.R. Ricketts of the staff of the 
Bank of Montreal was chosen, and he proceeded at once on his mission. He was received most 
heartily at Ottawa — lunching at Government House with Lord and Lady Minto, and was given the 
entree by Sir Wilfrid Laurier to all officials necessary for his purpose. The result was that the 
itinerary of the Royal party was changed, and Vancouver was given a day on the official 
programme. On Mr. Ricketts's return, and after receiving his report, he was appointed permanent 
secretary with the consent of the late Mr. Campbell Sweeny, then the manager of the Bank of 
Montreal, committees were struck, including the ladies for their end of it, and everything done to 
make the visit worthy of Vancouver and its citizens. (Note: the Daily Province has an article 
written by Arthur Cotton and it is enclosed in the box of photos, etc. I mailed to you a few days 
ago; you will find many details there.) The Royal party arrived (by C.P.R. train) in two sections — 
the first having on board the Premier, Sir Wilfrid Laurier — arriving first, and the second train half 
an hour later. A mounted escort was furnished by the North West Mounted Police of Regina, and 
accompanied the visitors to Vancouver and Victoria. The North Pacific Squadron of the British 
Navy was lying in Burrard Inlet with Admiral Bickford's flag flying (see Province for list of ships). 
The Royal train arrived on time to the minute, and was welcomed by a Royal salute by the fleet. 
Vancouver was crowded with visitors and the approach from the C.P.R. to the dais erected in 
front of the old Court House (Victory Square now) was roped off and lined with the local police, 
and the 6 th Regiment "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles." The streets were a mass of bunting; 
all the prominent buildings were decorated. Many arches were built along Cordova, Hastings and 
Granville streets. When the Royal carriage drew up at the dais, His Worship Mayor Townley and 
Mrs. Townley received them on behalf of the city, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier on behalf of the 
Dominion Government. The members of the City Council and many leading citizens were on the 
platform, when His Worship read an address, after which little Miss Edith Townley presented Her 
Royal Highness with a bouquet of beautiful flowers. This function being completed the Royal 
party drove by way of Hastings, Westminster Avenue, Cordova and Cambie streets to the Drill 
Hall, which had lately been completed. The Duke, in a few words, declared the same duly 
opened. An adjournment was then made to the Officers' Mess where luncheon was served. After 
the toast to the King had been drunk, the Royal party adjourned to their train — to meet again at 
the Hastings Mill at the invitation of the management — Mrs. John Hendry, R.W.Alexander, and 
Charles M. Beecher — where a number of giant trees were cut into timber to the intense 
enjoyment and interest of the Duke and Duchess and their suite. The next part of the programme 
was a drive around Stanley Park via Granville, Georgia and Denman streets. By special invitation 
His Worship was in the Royal Carriage which, with its mounted escort, made a beautiful drive, 
stopping en route to visit the Big Trees, and to witness the gathering of school children filling the 
grandstand at Brockton Point Grounds. After the children had sung a few patriotic numbers, the 
party drove back through the city to board the H.M.S. Empress of India which was to convey them 
to Victoria. At the corner of Granville and Hastings Street, a band of Tsimpsian tribe of Indians 


from Fort Simpson in full tribal costume were met, and their chief presented an address and gift to 
H.R.H. — a headdress of eagle feathers if I remember aright. Then we drove down the incline to 
the wharf and I was invited on board and the Duke and Duchess presented me with individual 
autographed photographs; thanking me very heartily for the wonderful welcome they had 
received. The official reply to the address came later in a printed memorandum. At night the city 
and harbour were a blaze of illuminations, and the Empress pulled out in the wee sma' hours for 
Victoria, where a day was spent, and then the Royal Party turned East, and brought their 
transcontinental visit to an end. 

This sketch may easily be enlarged upon by consulting the files of the local papers for the 
year 1901. 

Yours faithfully, 

T.O. Townley. 

The 6th Regiment, "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles." Officers' Mess. Beatty 
Street Drill Hall. 

Col. Townley writes that the Officers' Mess was curtained, carpeted and furnished — the building had just 
been completed — by the committee in charge of the Royal visit, and the furniture was afterwards 
presented to the regiment at his instance as Mayor. He was also a former commanding officer of the 
same unit before its change from artillery to rifles. The chairs used by Their Royal Highnesses — two of 
them — and the Royal luncheon table, were marked with small silver distinguishing plates and inscription 
by Major Matthews in 1932. 

All trace of the despatch box, containing the papers, etc., etc., of the Royal visit, belonging to the 
reception committee, has been lost. Mr. E.R. Ricketts carefully treasured them until his death abroad; no 
information can be obtained as to what became of them. JSM. 

The 6th Regiment, "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles." Lieut. Col. H.D. Hulme. 
Visit of His Excellency the Duke of Connaught. 

On his first visit to Vancouver in his capacity of His Excellency the Governor-General about 1 91 1 , the 
Duke of Connaught dined with his officers of the regiment of which he was honorary colonel. The dinner 
was held in the Hotel Vancouver, the new wing of which had recently been opened, the wing next Howe 

There were two or three meetings of the officers of the regiment to arrange for the dinner, and at the final 
one, Col. Hulme, then, I think, president of the Officers' Mess said from his chair at the head of the mess: 

"Well, gentlemen, everything is all finished. You are to dine with His Royal Highness on" (I think) 
"Thursday night; there is to be Royal squab, and I don't know just what else, but the price will be 
seventeen dollars and fifty cents per plate," ($17.50) "which you will all pay." Then, without a second's 
hesitation, he continued, "Mr. Secretary, what's the next order of business?" The secretary stated 
something, and the meeting went on. 

This story is recorded simply to show the wonderful esprit de corps which existed in the "Old Sixth," and 
the great confidence which the officers had in their seniors, and their splendid training. Added to this was 
Col. Hulme's wonderful personality; when he left to take over the command of the 62 Overseas Battalion, 
the officers presented him with a purse of gold one evening after drill. It was nearing midnight, but they 
sent a cab, I believe it was, down for his wife, got her out of bed, and brought her up to the Mess where 
they had a great bouquet of flowers for her, and walloping big cake for the colonel's children at home in 
bed. Hulme told me afterwards, "Say, Matthews, that's some experience to go through, my boy; I had 
hard work to keep from shedding a tear." But to return to the dinner. 

The dinner took place. The band played soft music on the lawn of the Court House, surrounded by a huge 
crowd, brilliant lights, arches illuminated, etc., etc., and the crowd peering on tiptoe to get a glimpse of 
those within the hotel, which, by the movement, they could see were attending some function; actually the 


dinner. About thirty-five officers of the regiment were in attendance, in full mess dress of black — the old 
style mess dress — and one guest, just one, Lt. Col. J. Edwards Leckie, commanding the 72 nd Seaforth 
Highlanders, afterwards Major General Leckie. Major (Judge) Alex Henderson recited Tennyson's "The 
Revenge" in his inimitable style. The dinner was a very modest dinner, by no means a feast, very orderly, 
little talking, just a mess dinner despite its total cost of well over $600. Then H.R.H. the Honorary Colonel 
rose, delivered a short speech, and retired. It was very evident to see that he was well pleased. 

Earlier in the day the Royal party had been received on the steps of the Court House. It was a beautiful 
day and a gorgeous scene with the green grass, the tremendously tall flag pole in the centre with the 
Union Jack flying, the bunting, the decorations, the troops, Boy Scouts, legion of Frontiersmen, etc., etc., 
all drawn up. The dais was a huge affair constructed over the Court House steps, carpeted and chaired 
luxuriantly, and with the officers of the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. drawn up in rear of the dais as a sort of 
background, "wallpaper," some jokester said. The writer was standing just behind Miss Pelly, a lady in 
waiting, and heard her whisper to Col. Bukely, A.D.C., "My, this is something like a show." 

Vancouver did well that day for the son of the Great Queen, and brother of Edward the Peacemaker. JSM 
March 1933. 



"Museum and Art Notes," Vancouver City Museum, 1929. 

This painting in oils is preserved in the Officers' Mess at the Drill Hall. Its cost, $500, was raised by 
collections made by Major J. S. Matthews from old officers and friends. It is said to be an excellent 
likeness; it lacks one ribbon, green, i.e. the Officers Long Services (Volunteer). Mrs. Hart-McHarg, his 
mother, handed all her husband's and son's papers, documents and trophies to Major Matthews for 
safekeeping. They are in the City Museum. 


Lieut.-Col. Wiixiam Hart-McHarg 

Portrait in oil* presented, an a token of goodwill, and as a memorial to 
their distinguished esomrade, by former officers of the old "fith Resinieiit, 
The Duko of Connaught's Own Rifles," and "7th Hatlalion, Canadian 
Expeditionary Foree, to the present officers of the "British Columbia 
Regiment, The Duke of Connaught's Own." which regiment now amalga- 
mates and perpetuates the honors and traditions of both former units. 
The ladles of the "Colonel Ilart-MeHarg Chapter, I. O. D. K., are al&o 
associated with the presentation. 

— The portrait Is hy Victor A. Long, Esq. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_145 


Lieut-Col William Hart-McHarg 

By Major J. S. Matthews 

"War! We would rather peace; but. Mother, if fight we must, 
There be none of your sons on whom you can lean with a surer trust. 
Bone of your bone ore tee; and in death would be dust of your dust." 

From Frontispiece in ''Prom Quebec to Pretoria" by W. Hiirt-Mellarg, 1902. 

I Il'-UT.-COL. Hart-McHarg's splendid career closed at the comparatively early 
j age of 4d years. Early in 1914, just lie fore tin* outbreak of war, he was offered 
the command of the Canadian rifle team, proceeding to Bislcy that summer. He 
declined, declaring that his private affairs were so heavy he could not accept. It must 
have been a bitter decision for so ardent a rifleman — a rifle shot of international fame. 
Soon afterwards war broke out. He hesitated not a day; private affairs did tiot then 
stand in the way, and he led the famous Seventh, Vancouver's "Old Contemptihles," 
to the front. 

Many stories, mostly inaccurate as to facts and detail, have been told and even 
printed as to how he met his death in the following April. The Canadian official 
history of the war briefly slates that he was mortally wounded while reconnoitring. 
I have never seen the true story in print. One man, and one man only, Brigadier- 
General Victor W, Odium, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., then major, and his second in com- 
mand, knows exactly the details of the incident, for he was the only person present. 

General Odium relates that on the night of April 22nd, 1915, the Seventh was 
lying in the Ypres salient, and was sent in from "support" to "front line" to block a 
gap between the 13th Hoyal Highlanders of Canada and the 14th Royal Montreal 
Battalion which had been caused by a great breach in the French line when the French 
colored troops, the Zouaves, gave way under the famous German gas attack. The 
Seventh occupied a hill, east of St. Jtilien, at the foot of which was the village of 
Kecrsalaere. At that time the trench system was not continuous as it afterwards 
became, ami on the afternoon of the following day, the 23rd, the Seventh was ordered 
to dig, under cover of that night's darkness, a new trench line. Major Odium offered 
to do the reconnoitring for the location of the new line, but Col. McHarg insisted on 
seeing the situation for himself, so both went together, accompanied by Lieut. Mathesou 
of the Engineers. Proceeding cautiously down hill, they entered the village, and later 
one of the cottages, when, on looking through the back window, they were amazed to 
see a strong party of Germans peering over a hedge scarcely fifty feet away. All three 
turned and ran, Mathesou veering off to the left to a ditch and finally escaping, while 
the other two struck straight up the hill towards their command, some of whom prob- 
ably saw, at the distance, what was happening without actually understanding its 
import. As the two officers cleared the village houses, the Germans opened fire in 
volleys, both threw themselves to the ground, Major Odium, by luck, jumping into a 
small shell hole, and, an instant later. Col. McHarg rolled on top of him, exclaiming 

Item # EarlyVan_v2_146 


"They have got me." He had been struck from behind through the left thigh, the 
bullet penetrating the stomach. 

It was late afternoon. Major Odium lay in the shell hole awaiting his opportunity, 
and, after doing what he could to comfort his stricken comrade, left him lying, perhaps 
half-way between the Germans and our front line, and made a zig-zag dash up the 
hill, the Germans firing at him as he went. Soon afterwards dusk fell, when Capt, 
George Gibson, the battalion medical officer, accompanied by stretcher-bearers, reached 
Col. McHarg, dressed his wound, and had him carried to a little ruined farm house 
which served as battalion headquarters. He knew he was dying, and during the mosl 
part of the evening found comfort in gently clasping the hand of Major Odium, who, 
when duty permitted, sat by his side. There were many things he wished to say, hut 
he found great difficulty in speaking. Towards midnight, a Canadian ambulance, by 
a miracle, found its difficult way to a point quite close, and the colonel, obviously 
sinking, w ; as conveyed to I'operinghc, where he died the following day. He was buried 
at Rcninghclst, and Major Odium succeeded to the command of the Seventh. 

"In making this particular recouuaisancc," said Gen. Odium recently, "Colonel 
McHarg proved himself the conscientious gallant officer and thorough gentleman that 
he had always been. It was not compulsory for him to make the reconnaisance. He 
could have sent others. He could even have satisfied himself with an examination of 
the situation from the top of the hill. He did neither— he went himself. He said he would 
not he doing bis full duty were he to do otherwise. The circumstances as he saw them 
were these : A new emergency trench had to he dug in the battle zone in the midst o f 
an operation, and in the face of an advancing enemy. The question which confronted 
him was, 'should it be dng on the top of the hill where the battalion then lay out in 
the open ground, or down at the forward foot of the hill.' Colonel McHarg would 
not lake the responsibility of deciding without personally going out to look over both 
sites, and in thus doing his full duty he lost his life." 

The news of the death of the commander of the "British Columbians" came as a 
terrible shock to all British Columbia, but especially so to the members of his old 
unit, the 6th Regiment, "The Duke of Con naught's Own Rifles," of which he had been 
second in command, and to whose exceptionally high state of efficiency he had so 
largely contributed. He was a man of great natural ability, and would undoubtedly 
have risen to high command in the Canadian forces had he lived. 

Lieut. -Col. William Frederick Richard Harl-McHarg was born, as he died, "in the 
service," his birthplace being Kilkenny Barracks, Ireland. He was the only son — second 
of four children — of Major William Hart-McHarg, quartermaster of H. M's. 44th 
Regiment of Foot, now "The Essex Regiment," and jane Scott Thomsctt, whose father 
was a captain in that regiment. Major McHarg was present at the battles of Alma, 
Iiikerman, and Sevastopol in the Crimean War (medal with four clasps), and was 
awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, an honour created by Queen Victoria, for 
sergeants only, for distinguished conduct in the field, and now- known as the D. C, M. 
Afterwards he served in the China War, 1860, at Taku Forts. In early life Major 
McHarg was known as William Hart, but subsequently made a legal declaration 
re-assuming his father's patronymic of McHarg. Major Hart -McHarg's widow and 
two daughters still survive in England. His grandfather was Archibald McHarg of 
Wigtown shire, Scotland. 

Educated in England and Belgium, Col. Hart-McHarg made his way to Canada 
when he was 16, farmed for five years in Manitoba, and at 21 commenced to study 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_147 


law in Winnipeg, where lie supported himself on a salary of $2:5 per month. , He once 
reminiscently related that he managed on so small a sum by "washing my own collars, 
walking to the office, and, as for going to the theatre, why, that was beyond my wildest 
dreams." In 1891, at 22, he enlisted as a private in the Winnipeg troop of cavalry 
(volunteers). Four years later, in 1895, he was called to the bar in Manitoba, and 
then, attracted by the mining activity in the Kootenays, moved to Rossi and, became a 
British Columbia barrister in 1897, and was commissioned a lieutenant in the old 
Rossland Rifle Company a few months before the Boer War broke out in 1805). 
Unable to obtain a commission as an officer, he volunteered as a private in the 2nd 
(special service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, and was present at the Rattle 
of Paardeberg, the Surrender of Cronjc, at Poplar Grove, and the occupation of 
Blocmfontien and Pretoria (medals with four clasps), returning to Canada with the 
rank of sergeant, and resumed practice at Rossland. He received his captaincy in 
the "Rocky Mountain Rangers," and, coming to Vancouver in 1902, joined the 6th 
Regiment, "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles," the following year. He established 
with the late J, G. L. Abbott, first at Rossland, later at Vancouver, the legal firm of 
Abbott & Hart-McHarg, subsequently Abbott, Hart-McHarg, Duncan & Rennie. 
Strangely, one of his most valued clients was the notorious German, Alvo von 
Alvensleben, whose expensive marble timepiece, presented to the officers of the old 
"Sixth," was afterwards used by them as a football, and later replaced by a more 
acceptable one presented by Mr. Fred Btiscombe. 

As a rifleman — his favorite sport- Col. McHarg's reputation was international. 
The rifle with which be made the marvellous score of 220 out of 225. and thereby won 
the World's Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio, together with the official score card 
in a frame, is still preserved in the officers' mess at the Drill Hall. He shot for Canada 
in the all-nation "Palma Trophy" contests in 1907, and for British Columbia against 
the National Guard of Washington. He won the "Perry Trophy" in 1904, the 
"Governor-General's Gold Medal" in 1908, and again in 1913, the British Columbia 
"All-Comers' Aggregate" in 1909, and was on the Canadian "Kolapore" team at Bislcy 
in 1907 and 1910. He attended the coronation ceremonies of King George as an officer 
of the Canadian contingent. He was an ardent Imperialist, was one of the early vice- 
presidents of the Vancouver Canadian Club, and was one of those responsible for the 
adoption here of "O Canada" (Buchan version) as an anthem replacing "The Maple 
Leaf Forever" for public occasions. He gave strong support to the Imperial Order of 
the Daughters of the Empire in the days when it lacked its present strength, and his 
name is now perpetuated in the Col. Hart-McHarg Chapter, T. O. D. E. He managed, 
for his party, a Dominion election in this city. His successful defence of two men 
charged with the murder of a woman in Fairview brought him much prominence as a 
criminal lawyer. He was one of, if not actually, the first advocates here of "daylight 
saving," and with such success that for a year or so it was adopted. His outward 
appearance was not strikingly military, for of later years this distinguished officer 
walked as though he was tired, and his carriage was less erect. His massive face 
suggested nothing of the frailty of his body, which, through ill-health (indigestion), 
weighed about 111) pounds, frequently his diet «as merely biscuits and milk, lb- 
was a cool, quiet man of commanding personality, and a bachelor. Of his character 
wc can best learn by referring to the tablet erected in Christ Church by the Seventh 
Battalion, and which is inscribed "erected by his comrades as a tribute to a brave 
soldier and a gallant gentleman." Soon after his death the Georgia Street viaduct was 
completed and named the "McHarg Viaduct," but the name has fallen into disuse. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_148 


Oddly, this ardent soldier, both in peace and war, wore no military decorations. He 
was a member of the Vancouver Club. Some months after his death his aged and 
invalided mother received the personal condolences of His Majesty. A protrayal of 
the incident shows her reclining in her wheel chair while the King bends over her in 
conversation. A few months ago Mrs. Hart-McHarg donated to the Vancouver City 
Museum many interesting documents relating to the services of her illustrious husband 
and son. 

At the conclusion of the Boer War, Col. McHarg published his experiences in 
South Africa with the Royal Canadian Regiment in a narrative entitled "From Quebec 
to Pretoria." In the last paragraph he gives beautiful, almost prophetic, expression to 
his sentiments in referring to his comrades who fell in that war, ''On arrival in 
Canada," he wrote in 1902, "no time was lost in the disbandoument of the regiment, 
and we all betook ourselves to our homes. Unfortunately, all those who went with 
us did not return. No body of men can take part in a great campaign and expect to 
come through without suffering casualties. But what better death can a man die than 
to lay down his life for the honour of his country? The foundation on which will he- 
reared the splendid edifice of the Imperial British Empire is cemented by their blood. 
They bore the brunt of the campaign; they arc its heroes. To them be the honour and 
the glory," And "The Province" of April 26th, 1915, in announcing his death, con- 
cludes its obituary with his own words, "Yes, Col. Hart-McHarg, to them be the honour 
and the glory." 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_149 


Lieut.-Col. J.W. Warden, D.S.O., O.B.E. 

Major J. S. Matthews tells some anecdotes of the life of Col. Warden, of whom he was a great admirer. 

Major Matthews first "met" Col. Warden on board the S.S. Rupert City on the way to the Alaska-Yukon- 
Pacific Exposition in Seattle about 1907. As Lieut. Matthews he was Orderly officer, and proceeded with a 
sergeant to the hold of the ship to see that "lights out" was observed. In the darkness there was a candle 
burning. The sergeant called out, "Put that light out." An answer came out of the darkness, "I can't find my 
blankets." Lieut. Matthews asked the sergeant, "Who's that fellow?" The sergeant replied, "His name's 
Warden, a private." 

Some years later, December 1916, Capt. Matthews approached Lieut.-Col. Warden who was raising the 
102 nd Battalion C.E.F. and asked for a post in the new unit. Capt. Matthews was actually a major in the 
158 th Overseas Battalion, but did not like the unit. Col. Warden replied, "What's your rank now?" Capt. 
Matthews replied, "Major." Warden said, "I cannot take you, I'm full up; best I could do would be as a 
captain." "All right," said Matthews, who afterwards dropped down from major to captain. 

After the war, and Warden's return to Vancouver, Col. Warden contested one of the six seats of the City 
of Vancouver in the B.C. Provincial elections of 1921 , and in the conservative interest. Five liberals were 
returned, and one conservative, ex-Premier Bowser. Warden ran next to Bowser, an excellent showing. 
But the cost of the election, plus his losses by the failure of the Dominion Trust Co., to whom he had 
entrusted his finances, grew so low that, in desperation, he boarded a harvester's train bound for the 
prairies; a rough train of "colonist" cars, crowded with rough men, bound for the harvest fields at $10.00 a 
ride to the prairie, any part. His companion was young Hugh Matthews, son of Major Matthews, a youth 
off for the excitement of the adventure. Two weeks later Col. Warden and young Hugh might have been 
seen in the field at Govan, Saskatchewan, stooking wheat, living in a rude shack with an uncultured 
farmer. Here was a case where we had a Canadian officer with nine decorations or medals, who had 
commanded 125,000 men in the Caspian area, who had raised his own battalion and commanded it at 
Regina Trench, Vimy, Passchendaele, before whom some Persian sheik had spread red carpets from the 
river front for Col. Warden, as H.M. representative to walk upon to his palace, working in overalls on a 
prairie farm for $4.00 (or less) per day. The two men, the distinguished soldier, twice attending at 
Buckingham Palace to receive honours from the hands of His Majesty, and the youth, returned together 
two or three months later with about $200 in their pockets apiece. 

Warden blamed much of this misfortunate on Gen. Odium. The feud had started years before Warden 
came to Vancouver. Odium had been an officer in the old 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. and, failing to attend to 
his duties as a volunteer officer, was invited to retire. This incensed Odium, who never forgot it. It is but 
necessary to read Gen. Odium's article in the Listening Post, journal of the 7 th Battalion C.E.F. to 
understand his attitude towards the 6 th D.C.O.R. Warden was an officer of the 6 th D.C.O.R. and when, 
after Col. Hart-McHarg's death in action, Major Odium assumed command of the 7 th , no love was lost 
between the two men. In the subsequent elections after the war, Odium was liberal member of the 
legislative assembly, Warden defeated candidate in the conservative interest. 

One would have thought that two officers of the old 6 th , again officers of the 7 th , and subsequently the 
brigadier of the 11 th Brigade in which the 102 nd Battalion existed commanded by his fellow officer the 
lieutenant-colonel, would have found more in common after the war. The writer blames Gen. Odium, not 
Warden. The "issue of rum" incident of the winter of 1 91 6-1 91 7, and the esteem in which Warden was 
held by the men in the ranks, is all that is necessary to judge by. 

However, after Warden's return from the prairie, he secured an appointment as "Special Representative" 
for the West Coast Lumbermen's Association, with headquarters at Seattle, for the promotion of lumber 
and shingle sales throughout North America. He travelled luxuriantly, was paid $600 a month, including 
expenses, raised the second year to $1,000 a month including travelling expenses, but his expenses 
were high, and when, at the end of two or three years, the Hoover tariff on lumber, etc., etc., had played 
havoc with the shingle and lumber mills, Warden's position vanished, and he had saved very little. 

Finally in desperation again, he secured a "job" as doorman at the entrance to Chicago's leading picture 
theatre, and retained it for about 1 8 months. He stood on his feet on a concrete pavement many hours a 
day and seven days a week. In one year he had but two holidays off duty. He writes that he rarely saw his 


three daughters, for he remained to close the theatre at 2 a.m. and was on duty again at 1 a.m. His 
salary was small. Finally the theatre people got to know that he was trying to secure a position as warden 
of the New Westminster Penitentiary, and he was told his services would no longer be required. He wired 
Major Matthews one Saturday that he must have $75 by Monday, or he and his wife would be thrown 
onto the street out of their apartment. Matthews wired the money. 

He repaired to Detroit, or Windsor, Detroit I think, and there secured a commission selling graves in a new 
burial park being promoted; it yielded nothing after two months effort. Then he went to Windsor and got a 
job as night clerk in a fourth rate hotel at $90 a month, and on this, and what his daughters could earn by 
working in a department store, they lived in more or less penury. This lasted six months or a year. Then in 
September or October 1 929 he received a telephone message to come at once to the hospital, but before 
he reached the hospital his youngest daughter was dead. All his letters written at this time are in the 
Vancouver City Museum. 

Major Matthews had done his best; his telegraph bill, in trying to get him the position of warden of the 
Westminster Penitentiary, was over forty dollars. He wired everyone from the premier of B.C. to the 
minister of justice at Ottawa, all without avail; but evidently the work was not lost, for two years later, after 
Warden had endured all the harrowing experiences recounted above, he was appointed Governor of the 
Essex County Gaol, Sandwich, Ontario, and Ontario Provincial Government appointment, and still, 1933, 
retains it. A front full page article on his remarkable career appeared in the Border Cities Star in the fall of 

Such is a part of the story of a boy of "red school house" education, who rose from piano salesman to be 
an illustrious son on Canada. He was no social butterfly, just plain "Honest John" Warden, a tall, gaunt 
man with a great heart. 

A queer anomaly in 1 928. The Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the "North British Columbia Regiment" 
standing as doorman before the entrance of Chicago's leading moving picture theatre. 

On 13 February 1919 was ordered to take draft of three hundred officers and men from Bombay by ship 
to Vladivostok, Siberia, with instructions to hand command to Gen. Knox, and proceed to Canada. On 
arrival at Hong Kong was ordered to disembark his troops, and remain until spring, as there were no 
quarters at Vladivostok. During this interval proceeded to interior of China with Intelligence officers 
gathering data on official Chinese internal affairs. Vladivostok was reached on 16 April 1919, where 
orders were received to proceed with draft to Omsk, arriving there 1 May. Remained with Gen. Knox's 
staff for a month, ordered to proceed to Russian Island on coast near Vladivostok and take over from 
Brig.-Gen. Sir Edward Grogan, command of Russian Military Training School. Remained May until 
October 1919, and withdrawn with remainder of troops being withdrawn from Russian sphere. Proceeded 
to England by way of Japan and Canada, remaining in England until March 1 920, during which time was 
offered position on staff of General Dennikin, the Russian commander in the Black Sea area, declining on 
account of long absence from family — almost six years. 

Was transferred back to C.E.F., having been seconded since 10 January 1918. Returned to Canada 31 
March 1920, discharged, and placed on reserve of his old regiment, the 6 th Regiment The Duke of 
Connaught's Own Rifles, Vancouver. Accorded a banquet in his honour at the Hotel Vancouver by the 
officers and men of the 102 nd Battalion, colloquially known as "Warden's Warriors." 

He has been awarded nine decorations or medals. 

Has for many years been Hon. Lieut. -Col. of the North British Columbia Regiment at Prince Rupert. 

Candidate for legislature, conservative interest, 1920. City of Vancouver, defeated with all other, save 
one, the ex-Premier Bowser, conservative. (B.C. Legislature.) 

Was an early alderman in West Vancouver, soon after its establishment as a municipality. 

In the spring of 1 923 was "Special Field Representative" in the United States for the West Coast 
Lumbermen's Association, and for five years covered the whole of the United States and Mexico in their 
interests, when President Hoover's tariff laws forced the lumber mills of B.C. to cease imports to U.S. and 


Col. Warden's position vanished. Since the fall of 1929 has been Governor of the Essex County Gaol, 
Sandwich, Ontario. 

Born in New Brunswick (United Empire Loyalist.) 

The above is a very cursory sketch of Col. Warden's remarkable career, and is copied from a faint carbon 
copy of his services which he himself must have prepared, probably for some military record office. What 
it leaves out is almost more than it includes. The motif of his life was a compelling patriotism; it brought 
him much; he also suffered much in consequence of his ideals. A quantity of documents, papers, etc. 
have been preserved in the Vancouver City Museum by his friend, Major Matthews. The history of the 
102 nd Battalion, From B.C. to Baisieux, gives more; the Canadian Defense Quarterly, 1932, gives a 
description of the Dunsterforce expedition. 

Lieut.-Col. John Weightman Warden, D.S.O., O.B.E. 102nd Battalion "North 
British Columbians," C.E.F. 

Military Record: 

Enlisted about 1 January 1901 at St. John, New Brunswick, in the South African Constabulary for service 
in the Anglo-Boer War, leaving Halifax 8 March 1 901 . Served as scout to end of war, then placed in 
charge of Wakkerstroom Mounted Police District, Transvaal, appointed Public Prosecutor, Criminal Court, 
June 1902 to November 1905, when returned to Canada on six months leave. 

After return to Canada joined as private the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R., Vancouver. Charter member United 
Service Club. Won St. George's Challenge Shield at Bisley, 1911. In 1913 member international rifle team 
competing against five United States teams, his score being 222 out of 225 at 800-1 ,000. Annually 
competitor at B.C. and Ottawa rifle meetings, 1909-1913. Holds some fifty prizes for rifle shooting won in 
local, provincial, dominion, national and international shoots. 

Telegraphed offer of service to Ottawa day Austria sent ultimatum to Serbia, and sailed for England with 
First Contingent (7 th Battalion), Captain. His brokerage business he entrusted to the Dominion Trust Co., 
which crashed during his absence, and he lost all. Dangerously wounded and gassed during 2 nd Battle of 
Ypres at Graafenstafal (Locality "C"). After convalescence returned to Canada six months leave, 1 
November 1 91 5, as unfit for further service. On 1 5 November promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and 
authorised to raise the 102 nd Comox-Atlin Battalion, afterwards known as "North British Columbians." 
Whilst under medical care started to recruit in January 1916, and in August 1916 was with his battalion in 
the front line at Ypres as part of the 11 th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4 th Division. Trained battalion at 
Comox, B.C. This most enviable record is remarkable, for six months after receiving his first recruits at 
Comox his battalion was in action. 

On 10 January 1918 selected to take secret military expedition afterwards called Dunsterforce, or "Hush- 
Hush" Force to Baku on the Caspian Sea to General Dunsterville, who was waiting in Enzeli, Persia to 
take command. Left England in charge of force 10 January 1918 and proceed by transport to Basrah, 
thence by barges on Tigris River to Baghdad, arriving 28 March 1918. Marched his column on foot to 
Enzeli, a distance of approximately 1,000 miles, some 800 miles being through unmapped country, 
arriving 29 August 1 91 8. 

General Dunsterville commanding, they proceeded on 30 August 1918 to Baku, where General 
Dunsterville was obliged to remain at his headquarters on board ship, and placed Col. Warden in 
command of the entire frontage — some thirty miles — occupied by 125,000 troops, Russian, Armenian, 
Georgian, Arab, Tartar, Turkamena, and British. The purpose was the decoy part of the Turkish Army, 
about fourteen divisions, from in front of General Allenby in Palestine, thereby weakening the forces in 
Palestine, aiding their defeat by Gen. Allenby, which it was calculated would cause the collapse of the 
Turks and as a natural consequence of Bulgaria, Austria and finally Germany. The purpose being 
completed, they withdrew on 14 September 1918. 

On 15 September 1918, Col. Warden was ordered to take over the command of another Transcaspian 
British Expedition with headquarters at Krasnovodski. On 16 September he assumed command and 
carried out operations along Persian and Afghanistan frontiers until Armistice, when he requested return 


to Canada. He handed over his command to Major General Thompson, proceeded to Baghdad, and 
thence via Basrah to India, arriving 1 1 January 1919. 

Lieut. Col. W.S. Latta, D.S.O. and two bars. 

Lieut. Col. W.S. Latta, D.S.O. and two bars, of the 29 th (Vancouver) Battalion, was born at Ayr, Scotland, 
14 April 1879, and joined the old 6 th Regiment, The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles, Vancouver, as a 
private on 5 January 1900, promoted corporal February 1903, sergeant March 1903, and then was 
offered a commission in his regiment in the spring of 1909. 

It was the unwritten law of the officers of the old Sixth that officers of the regiment must come from the 
sergeants or lower ranks of the regiment. At the time of the outbreak of the Great War, all the officers of 
the regiment save one or two of those on the staff, and one or two other exceptions, had at some time or 
other been in the ranks of the regiment or some other regiment. Further, notwithstanding that it was 
contrary to military procedure, the officers of the regiment voted on the candidature of suggested officers; 
the procedure was for the name of the intended officer to be mentioned at one monthly officers' meeting, 
and secretly voted on at the next meeting; three nays disqualified the candidate, and although it was the 
commanding officer's prerogative to ignore such a vote, he rarely did so, and in a number of years there 
were but two instances where he overruled the decision by secret ballot of his thirty or thirty-five officers. 

Sergeant Latta's name was submitted to the officers of the regiment for a commission, a secret vote was 
taken, and the decision was adverse. But the commanding officer, Lt. Col. F.W. Boultbee, overruled the 
decision, and exercised his prerogative, thereby saving from oblivion a soldier who subsequently attained 
much distinction. 

As captain, he joined the 29 th Vancouver Battalion on 1 November 1914 and went overseas in May 1915 
as captain in command of "C" Company. Promoted Lieut. Col. and assumed command 21 July 1917; took 
an active part in all engagements from September 1915 to August 1918 and was present at Kemmel, St. 
Eloi Craters, Ypres, Somme, Courcelette, Vimy, Arleux, Lens, Hill 70, Passchendaele and Amiens. 
Wounded, Battle of Amiens, 9 August 1918. D.S.O. June 1917, bar January 1918, second bar, August 

Subsequent to the war he was with the Land Department of the B.C. government until September 1 931 
when he was transferred to another department. 

A splendid rifle shoot, and winner of the British Columbia Rifle Association's Grand Aggregate Gold 
Medal in 1913. 

He was one of three brothers who were the first to climb the "Lions," Labour Day, 5 September 1 903. 

Captain and Quartermaster Frank Kennedy. 6th Regiment, The Duke of 
Connaught's Own Rifles. 

The old 6 th Regiment "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles" was a really splendid regiment in which 
nearly every officer was a man of note in some respect. About 1911 His Excellency the Governor- 
General, H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, K.G., visited Vancouver for the first time in his capacity of 
Governor-General, and was accorded a wonderful welcome. One of the features of the visit was his first 
dinner with the officers of this regiment, of which he was Honorary Colonel, and during this dinner he 
made a speech in which he made the following remark (he was speaking of rifle shooting), "And I hope 
that in this respect, you will long continue to set an example to the other regiments of Canada." 

At this time, and for many years previously, fifteen or more, the regimental quarter master sergeant was 
Q.M. Sgt. F. Kennedy, afterwards, during the war, Captain and Q.M. of the regiment. In conversation 
today, 2 March 1933, he said, re surrender of Indian chief, Riel Rebellion, 1885: 

"Poundmaker came riding up to us on a horse surrounded with his staff of twenty or more, and the priest; 
it was the priest who did all the talking. I was Colour Sergeant Kennedy of the Queen's Own Rifles; 
Captain Hughes was a son of some wealthy business man in Toronto. As Poundmaker rode up to us — 
there were just two of us, Capt. Hughes and myself — he looked one of the most imposing sights I have 


ever seen; his face was set and stern like a stone image, and he sat his horse like a dignified statue. 
They came up under a little white flag. He had with him a little hunchback, the blackest little fellow I ever 
saw for an Indian, and he walked up to me, and stuck out his hand, and exclaimed, 'Hello, Jack'; I think 
they were the only two words in English he knew. He was full of cordiality, but I had never seen him 

"We put Poundmaker in a buggy and sent him over to the brigade where he surrendered again. 
Poundmaker complained that he had been fired on while coming in under white flag; well, I suppose he 
was; how were we to tell, he was a long way off. 

"We got a wagon load of arms from them. Then afterwards in camp I started to get some food, some 
grub, for Poundmaker, and was making it in a pot. I offered the food to him. After the food was cooked, I 
offered him the pot with the food in it, but he waved it away, and remarked with a gesture of disgust that 
he wanted it on a plate. He said he was not going to eat out of a pot. I said to him, 'Oh, well, all right then, 
you needn't, this is not my work to prepare food for you; I thought you wanted to eat; it's not my business 
to provide plates for you.' I was a colour sergeant, not a cook. I told him, 'I'm just helping you out.' 

"I went over by and by and asked General Otter what we were to do about food for him. General Otter 
replied, 'Oh, just draw rations for him like the rest.' 

"The next day I went out alone, and saw some Indians away off. I waved my arm for them to come 
towards me, and a fellow, a chief, Piapot, came over on a buck board and surrendered to me. He was not 
much of a fellow. 

"Two or three days afterwards they told Poundmaker that I was going away; I had to go off on another 
duty. Poundmaker told them he was sorry, and when he saw me going, came over and shook hands." 

Query: What became of him? 

"Oh, he died in jail. He told them they might just as well kill him at once and be done with it, that he would 
die anyhow if they confine him." 


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The South African War (Boer War). 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment, Canadian 
Garrison Artillery. 

The Vancouver, Victoria, and New Westminster members of the contingent from British Columbia to the 
Boer War. On the day before their entrainment for the east, a photograph was taken on the return from 
church parade (Sunday) in front of the old Imperial Opera House, Pender Street, then and for some years 
previously serving as a Drill Shed. The photograph shows three rows, the foremost seated, of soldiers in 
"pill box" head gear, white gloves, before a wooden building, i.e. the Drill Shed. In front is a road, partly 
mud, partly grass; this is Pender Street West at the foot of Beatty Street. The personnel in this 
photograph are as follows: 

Left to right, sitting: Sergeant J. Moscrop, Private A. Lohman (wounded), H. Neibergall (wounded), Otway 
Wilkie, Robert Mackie, A.S. Batson, J. Porter Smith, C.L. Leamy, Stephen C. Court or W.H. Brooking, 
Wallis, Maundrell (killed in action), John Todd (killed in action), F.J. Cornwall, H. Carter. 

Left to right, middle row: Sergeant J.W. Scott, Private John H. Summers (killed in action), S.W. O'Brien, 
W. Jackson (killed in action), Geo. S. Hutchings, J.H. Livingstone, A.J. Nye, W.H. Brooking or Stephen C. 
Court, Ralph W.J. Leeman, Wm. H. Brethour, J. Anderton, J.H. Dixon, Temple, James Stewart, Jas. W. 
Jones, F. Finch-Smiles (wounded), R. McCalmont, Harry J. Andrews (wounded), Sergeant J.R. Northcott. 

Left to right, back row: J.J. Sinclair, Percy Greaves, H.J. Allan, H.W. Bonner, W.R. Whitley (died in South 
Africa), C.C. Thompson (wounded), W.D. Wallace, G.B. Corbould (afterwards Lieutenant Colonel), A.M. 
Woods, Seymour H. O'Dell, Clark Gamble, Arthur Mundell, Alex C. Beech (wounded), Harry Smethurst, 
W.H. Stebbings, Cecil M. Roberts. 

Absent from photograph: Private Sid Harrison (killed in action, 18 February 1900 at Paardeberg.) 

In doorway, but not in South African contingent: 

Orderly Room Sergeant Henderson, wearing white crossbelt (F.S. Cap.) 

Colour-Sergeant W.W. Foster, afterwards Col. W.W. Foster, D.S.O., A.D.C. (Pillbox). 

Sergeant-Major J.C. Cornish, formerly Master Gunner of C Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery and a 
member of Canada's first permanent force, still living at White Rock, B.C. in 1 933. Wearing pill box. 

Quartermaster Sergeant Frank Kennedy, concealing behind Sergeant Foster, and wearing field service 
cap. Afterwards Capt. F. Kennedy. It was to Capt. Kennedy that the celebrated Indian chief Poundmaker 
surrendered at the termination of the North West (Riel) Rebellion, 1885. 

The company was known as A Company, 2 nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, and 
was sworn in on Friday night by Lieut. -Col. C.A. Worsnop, commanding 2 nd Battalion, 5 th Regiment 
Canadian Garrison Artillery, given leave until Sunday morning, went to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church 
for divine service on Sunday morning, had photo taken, slept on the board floor of the Drill Shed on 
Sunday night, and entrained by C.P.R. for South Africa on Monday morning, 23 October 1899. 

Cornwall was a son of Lt.-Gov. Cornwall. 

Total strength 50. Captain M.G. Blanchard in command. He was afterwards adjutant of the 2 nd (Special 
Service) Battalion R.C.R. in South Africa. 

The above particulars were furnished, from memory, by Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant G.S. 
Hutchings in 1933. He served as such in the 102 nd Battalion "North British Columbians," C.E.F. 

December 1932 - Regimental badges. 

The Westminster Regiment. 

The badge of the Westminster Regiment is an adaptation of the family crest of the family of Matthews of 
Newtown, Mont., North Wales, and Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver; a maple leaf before a setting sun. It was 
adopted about 1 931 or 1 932, in its first form about 1 931 , officially about 1 932. It arose in this manner. 


For some years after the war, regiments and other units used for their cap badges the crests of the 
overseas battalions which they perpetuated, but ultimately a militia order was issued stating that the new 
militia regiments must drop these badges — they were the badges of overseas battalions which had been 
disbanded, and the new militia regiments were distinct entities, and must adopt their own. Col. Corbould 
was commanding the Westminster Regiment and, together with Capt. Williams, paid a visit to Major 
Matthews, an authority of regimental badges, family crests, etc., to get his viewpoint of what should be 
adopted. Many designs were discussed. Finally, Major Matthews, without letting the two officers know 
that the maple leaf and the setting sun were his own mark of achievement, said, "How would this do?" 
and drew a sketch of a maple leaf and setting sun. It was adopted for submission to the officers of the 
regiment for their approval. Every endeavour was made to preserve in the centre of the maple leaf the 
numerals "47," perpetuating the number of the 47 th Overseas Battalion, but the militia authorities would 
not permit it, and the battle patch was substituted. (Authority: J.S. Matthews.) 

The British Columbia Regiment, D.C.O.R. 

This badge was adopted early in 1931 from a design made by Lt. Col. G.H. Whyte, M.C., a son of a 
former commanding officer, Lt. Col. J.C. Whyte (1903), and who ordered its adoption soon after he took 
over his father's former command. Col. Whyte adopted a very arbitrary method of making it the regimental 
badge. He was an old overseas engineer officer, and the badge presents some similarity to the badge of 
the engineers. Further, an attempt was made to follow the form of the badge of the Rifle Brigade (of 
England). Col. Whyte drew the design, submitted it to one or two officers, disregarded the opinion of 
those who made suggestions, did not consult his officers in mess assembled, but ordered the die made 
and reported it for approval by the militia authorities, who, unaware of the facts, authorized it. It was a 
high-handed action. The badge was strongly disapproved by some of his officers — the older ones — as not 
symbolizing the achievements of Canadian soldiers of the 6 th Regiment D.C.O.R. and 7 th Battalion, 
C.E.F., but as too strongly emphasizing that of the Rifle Brigade, a splendid English unit, but one with 
which, while allied, was very remote. 


Corp* J. Z. Hall ,B.C.B.G. A., probably first 
volunteer soldier of Vancouver — he jour- 
neyed, from Vancouver to Westminster to 
attend drills, 1885. Later of "Killarney" , 
Point Grey Road. Copied by W.J.Moore Photo. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 53 


The passing of the beard. 

Corp. J.Z. Hall, the first soldier of Vancouver, 1885 — husband of the well-known public spirited lady, Mrs. 
J.Z. Hall, nee Jessie Columbia Greer, daughter of Sam Greer — wore a dark bushy beard in uniform — see 
photograph — as also did many other volunteer soldiers. Most of our pioneers wore beards. 

"Ah, those were before the days of bare faced bishops," mused the late Archbishop Matheson, Primate of 
All Canada (Anglican) when speaking in a reminiscent mood at a banquet the evening of the opening of 
the Anglican Theological College at Point Grey. The banquet was attended by many bishops from near 
and far, east and south, all of whom were "bare faced." 

A venerable old gentleman with enormous flowing white beard and shiny bald head spoke a kindly word 
to a little fairy girl of about four, "Fuffy Koko," alias Frances Schofield, second daughter of Dr. S.J. 
Schofield, professor of Geology, U.B.C., whilst summering at Salt Spring Island about 1928. The little tot 
looked up quizzingly and said, "Did God make you?" 

"I rather think he did," graciously replied the sage. 

"Then why did he put all your hair on your face instead of your head?" 

Apropos of the Anglican Church. Above the entrance to the synod office of the Diocese of New 
Westminster, Province Building, Hastings and Cambie streets, a huge fiery red ball, always illuminated, 
hangs; large painted letters announce "FIRE ESCAPE," and just below, "SYNOD OFFICE, DIOCESE OF 


The first volunteer solider resident in Vancouver was Corporal J.Z. Hall, afterwards a well-known citizen, a 
prominent real estate agent, an ardent churchman — he had much to do with the establishment of St. 
Mark's Church, Kitsilano. His first wife was Miss Eliza Jane Greer, his second wife her sister, Miss Jessie 
Columbia Greer, daughters of Sam Greer of Greer's Beach. (See The Fight for Kitsilano Beach.) 

"Father," (her husband) said Mrs. J.Z. Hall, "worked in Granville before the Fire, and used to go over to 
New Westminster to attend drill parades. He told me that he 'never missed a drill.' I think he belonged to 
the B.C.B.G.A. in New Westminster as early as 1883." 

The old photograph shows him in the dark blue uniform of the artillery; head dress of a dark busby with 
scarlet flap and white plume in front centre, beard, sidearm. It was loaned by his widow, Mrs. J.Z. Hall, in 
1 932 for copying, and was marked on the back, "Dad, 1 885." At the unveiling of a memorial tablet to 
commemorate the site of the first Drill Hall in Vancouver — Sunday, 13 November, 1932, Christ Church 
Cathedral; present Brig.-Gen. J. Sutherland Brown, C.M.G., D.O.C., M.D. No. 11 and the Vancouver 
Garrison — his two granddaughters occupied the front pew side by side with Sergeant Major (Master 
Gunner) J.C. Cornish, the first sergeant major of the first Vancouver unit of volunteer soldiers. 

An enlargement (coloured) of this is in Artillery Officers' Mess, Bessborough Drill Hall. 

102nd Battalion, "North British Columbians," C.E.F. Lt. Col. J.W. Warden, D.S.O., 
O.B.E., V.D. Private Francis Gott of Lillooet, Indian. 

The manner in which the 102 nd Battalion received its territorial designation was as follows: 

On Captain Warden's return, wounded, from the 2 nd Battle of Ypres, he was promoted to lieutenant- 
colonel, and authorised to raise in the electoral district of Comox-Atlin, a battalion of men. He chose as 
the training camp site a spit of sand at Comox, B.C., called Goose Spit, an old British Admiralty target 
practice camp site and rifle range, long since discarded. The battalion was given the number 102 nd , and 
called the "Comox-Atlin Battalion" locally. The small units of the battalion were collected together all over 
northern and eastern British Columbia, and in February and March 1916, assembled at Goose Spit. 

One evening, the company from Prince Rupert arrived by boat, marched from Comox to the camp. 
Captain Matthews was the senior officer on the Spit, and saw them coming over the sandhills. He 


hurriedly collected together all hands and the cook, just as they were, formed a rough ragged column, 
and marched out to welcome them. As they came over a dune which had hidden the men of the north as 
they approached, Major Worsnop suddenly loomed up at their head on horseback. Major Worsnop called 
out, "Come on, Captain Matthews." Captain Matthews hesitated a second, when another command came, 
"Come on, Captain Matthews." Captain Matthews, without a moment's thought, called out, "North British 
Columbians," followed by, "three cheers for the men from Prince Rupert." The sobriquet "stuck," was 
officially adopted, and is borne on the regimental badge and on the wooden monuments erected of the 
killed in France. (See From B.C. to Baisieux, narrative history, 102 nd C.E.F.) 

Private Frank Gott, pure blood Indian of Lillooet, was in Captain Matthews' company. On the authority of 
Lt. Col. John Weightman Warden, D.S.O., O.B.E., V.D. who raised the battalion, it was Private Gott's 
Indian face which suggested to him the adoption of the Indian head on the crest or cap badge. Gott 
afterwards proved a most gallant solider. JSM 1 933. 

Gott shot a game warden at Lillooet in October 1932, but expunged his crime by dying a heroic death the 
next day. He was loved by his comrades and admired by all for his manly qualities. 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 54 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 55 


Gott of Lillooet 


J # S»lfa*fckews 

;^T AM a soldier," boldly declared Gott of 
[ the 102nd, and walked on to his 

"I am a soldier!" Courageous utterance; 
spoken in the cold of dawn's imperfect light; 
that hour when men's courage is feeblest; 
the proud, hopeless boast of a hungry, 
hunted man whose night's comfortless couch 
had been an open barn. 

Gott was a fugitive from none more than 
himself. There had been a terrible, an 
awful incident; a life sacrificed needlessly; 
perchance by accident, misadventure; merci- 
fully we shall never know. Gott was re- 
sponsible, recognized its horror, and like the 
gallant Indian that he was, welcomed the 

Those who knew him best, who loved 
him most, who saw his gallantry in war, his 
tenderness In peace, need naught to tell of 
the implacable torments of that troubled 
mind. The deed was done; all was lost. 
The challenge, "Halt, who goes there," and 
the pointed rifles were as nothing. A few 
more steps, a puff of dust, a rifle cracked, 
and— eye for an eye— the awful error was 
expunged. Aged 76, 

♦ + ♦ 

pRANCIS GOTT, "Gott of the 102nd," was 
pure Indian; his German name came 
from "old" Capt. Gott, white man, his 
mother's second husband. Long, long before 
the railway, he helped to haul the Hudson's 
Bay Co.'s bateaux up the Praser to the 
goldfields; then many years high In the 
mountains searching goat and grizzly as 
hunter, trapper, guide— a famous guide— 
and friend. 

Then the Great ' War. In 1915, this 
Indian, now past three score, volunteered 
his help to those whose laws had made it a 
crime to hunt the deer for food as his an- 
cestors had done for ages — laws which were 
to cost him his life. 

It was at St. Elol Craters, Ypres. We. of 
Canada, were green troops, on "trench gar- 
rison" duty. That afternoon — our first — 
they Shelled us mercilessly. A copper- 
coloreqf stoic sat erect, rifle between legs, 
still $& a monument in the wet broken 
earth which served as trench, and "toofc 
it"; a splendid example of coolheadedness. 
| It was.Gott.. 

"How do you like this, Gott?" he was 
: asked, as the shells burst. 

"Fine, sir." was the astonishing answer. 
"Better than Lillooet, Gott?" we asked 

"Oh, yes, if I'd known it was like this 
I'd come sooner." 

"What &n awful old bluffer," was the. 
' admiring comment of his officer, and by 
, such "bluffers" we won the war. The 
! shelling left us twenty fewer. 

Eight months later, after Regina Trench, 
they sent him back. Grasping both our 
hands in his, and with a suspicion of a tear 
'in one eye, he pleaded: 

"They're sending me back, sir, back to 
Canada, too old they say; I'm not too old. 
Won't you please stop them?" 

"Tell us your real age, Gott. Not your 
military age; your real age?" we asked. 
"Sixty-three, sir." 

Then came peace, and he wanted a loan. 
He got It, Rare experience; it was soon re- 
turned In full. His letters, splendidly 
written, are epitomies of beautiful, gentle 
sentiment. Gott was no "killer," but as 
brave a man and gallant a soldier as ever 
wore His' Maesty's uniform — he always wore 
his overseas soldier's cap. 

"I am a soldier," he said In his Indian 
pride, and passed on. 

4% •/■£ .• ♦ 
T'WO useful lives sacrificed for naught; 
the tragedy of Ullooet. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 56 


7he 6reaf 



ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 57 

Comments by eye-witnesses 

April 29 th 1932. 

Dear Major Matthews: 

I have read over your account of the Fire, and so far as I can see it is correct. Of course, your 
informant saw it from a different angle from what I did as he was in town at the time, while I was 
across the Inlet, and naturally only knew of what happened from what I was told. Of the starting 
point and the suddenness of the fire as well as of the complete destruction of the town there can 
be no doubt. Some (at least one) of the bodies of those who perished were not found for twenty- 
five years. The last was that of a man whose body or skeleton was found some years ago in the 
bush at the south side of Prior Street, near the C.N.R. yards. 

Geo. L. Schetky. 

Note: Mr. Schetky was a member of the Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade, 1 886. The body mentioned 
above was identified by the watch found beside it. 

April 29 th 1929 

Dear Mr. Matthews: 

I have read the enclosed article regarding the Vancouver Fire June 13 th 1886, with very much 
interest. It very correctly describes the fire and I fail to find anything in the article which should not 
be published. I shall be glad at any time to give you what information I have regarding the early 
history of Vancouver. 

W.E. Graveley 

J.A. Mateer, Member, Vancouver Volunteer Fire Brigade: "It's true all right, but reads in the first person — 
make it clear that you are recording the words of another person." 

Cecil Scott, Editor, Sunday Magazine Section, Vancouver Daily Province: "Dear Major: your story is 
graphic, colorful and picturesque." 


eat Vancouver Fire 

FIRE! FIRE!! Those terror- 
izing shouts of men; inef- 
faceable even after forty-six 
years from pioneer memories. 
No time to think, only to 
run ; to grasp perhaps some fright- 
ened child, and fly, suffocating, 
before the raging, racing blast. 
Vancouver did not "burn," it was 
consumed by flame; the buildings 
melted. Pioneers measure the years 
by "The Fire;" all that has hap- 
pened in Vancouver has occurred 
"before" or "since." 

It was Sunday, the thirteenth. 
A June dawn broke calm and 
beautiful on what promised the 
silent restfulness of God's holy day, 
and with the rise of the sun, cool 
zephyrs from English Bay rustled 
through the forest beyond Burrard 
street— the West End. Midday 
aaw the holocaust ; one great flame 
of fire impelled by fierce wind de- 
scended from the heavens and 
licked all, clean to the soil, into its 
awful maw. Black night saw the 
lights of dying embers twinkling 
in the darkness of a blacker deso- 
lation. Another dawn; and men 
spoke softly as they moved around 
a long rude table upon which lay 
parcels of charred human flesh. 


The Royal Engineers, "Navvy 
Jack," and a few of the earlier 
pioneers cleared the forest of old 
Granville, a ragged square boxed 
in by tall forest walls, and bounded 
by what is now Gamble, Hastings 
find Cat-rail streets— a fourth side 
was the shore. In the "hollow" 
nestled our baby city, just re- 
christened "V a n c o u v e r," nine 
weeks old, and growing like mad; 
mostly buildings of bright lumber, 
but including a shabbier few, a 
hotel, a saloon, a general store, a 
tiny church, and a cabin jail, 
about nine in all, erected in the 
'70's, and ranged crescent-shaped 
along the curve of the muddy 
beach; once the older "Gastown." 
The atmosphere of little Vancou- 
ver was one of excitement, hope, 
energy, eagerness; the wonderful 
railway was coming, over the high 
mountains, from Canada; there 
was going to be a "big town." 

William fc\ Findlay. pioneer. 
journalist, sportsman, whose 
imftnbflied narrative of the 
Great Fire is here com- 
pleted by a lifelong friend, 
Major J. S. Matthews. 

Off to the west, "up on the hill" 
(above Victory Square) and as far 
as the forest's edge (Burrard 
street) was the new ■ clearing, the 
"C. P. R. Town site," a dark jungle 
three months back, bu\ now a (J- 
shevelled litter of stumps, stones, 
debris and clearing fires. Closer in 
(Hastings street) pyramids of 
blown roots piled high by honest 
sweat — no donkey engines in those 
days — stood ready for burning, 
and some were already alight. In 
the distance, flanking Granville 
street on both sides as far as Davie 
street, a wild disarray of fallen 
trees, cut down by the "bowling- 
pin" method, the larger sweeping 
down the smaller, ten acres at a 
time, in one great grand crash, lay 
tumbled one on another in a vast 
impenetrable mat many feet 
thick, and dry as tinder after days 
in the hot summer sun; an ideal 
setting for a gigantic fire. 

To the eastward a fringe oE, 
semi-clearing stretched a short 
distance from Gastown to Hast- 
ings Mill; all else was wilderness; 
Kitsilano, Fairview, Jit. Pleasant, 
Hastings, all lay beneath a green 
carpet of primeval forest. 


Vancouver had no streets; just 
half a dozen planked roads and 
some dirt trails. Water street was 
largely trestle bridge over a cove 
of the sea; Cordova street was 
corduroy; the new street, Hast- 
ings, not long since a sinuous trail 
impassable in parts for wagons, 
was now four blocks long (Main 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 58 

to Cambie), The "Old Road" along 
the shore (Hastings road, now 
Alexander si reel) wen! from the 
maple tree to Hastings Mill, Hast- 
ings Town site, and on to the Royal 
City; the "New Road," a glorified 
bridle track, now Kingsway, trailed 
off from Carrall -street, crossed 
Columbia street diagonally, and 
squirmed through the stumps to a 
narrow wooden bridge, our only 
bridge, crossing False Creek (Mail 
street) . 

That the Great Fire started in 
the C. P. R. clearing is well known ; 
it matters little where, and then, 
too, opinion is so very diverse. 
Listen, while those who saw, ti 
the story. 

"Cordova street was not really 
stumped before the fire," relates 
a venerable pioneer of '84, "be- 
tween Abbott and Cambie si t 
few shacks and a pigsty hid in the 
bushes. They had been blowing 
stumps up on the 'C. P. R. hill.' At 
quitting time the powdermen of 
the blasting gang applied their 
torches to the fuses; quite a sight 
followed; roots skyrocketing, and 
noise! just like a bombardment; 
we used to stand on Water street 
and watch. 

"The morning of the fire you 
could see nothing for smoke. The 
whole Of the hill above Cambie 
street had been on fire for weeks 
before that; I spent the Sunday 
morning fighting the fire above the 
corner of Cambie and Cordova 
streets; it was gaining on us. so 1 
went down to the saloons, and sug- 
gested that the men had better 
come out and help. 

"The wind increased. Chunks of 
flaming wood as big as my leg 
were flying clear over us. We did 
our best, but at last it crossed 
Cordova street, where the Sterling 
Hotel is now; there was no tame 
to lose. I gathered up a mother and 
two children from a shack in the 
lane behind, and started east, but 
all Water street was ablaze, so we 
scurried west, down to the old 
float, the Moody ville landing (be- 
low Spencer's Limited), and waded 
out in the w-ater. The tide drifted 
a raft near me; I grabbed it. The 
frantic mother said something 
about throwing her child inthe sea ; 
that she would rather see it drown 
than burn; the flames were coi 
ing right over us, Then a bra 
little tug came right in, and Unved 
us out; gallant men they were. The 
hulk 'Robert Kerr* finally shJ 
tered us." 



But some say that this is not 
the whole story; that all invisible 
behind its own screen of smoke, a 
greater fire, a mile away, was be- 
ing driven ajindor the combined 
forced draft of windstorm and 
terrific upward suction of air com- 
mon to bush fires, into a fury, ami 
was dropping flaming brands 
I he tindery debris "up the hill;" 
the fiery attack on the ha 
town was coming from front and 

"The fire broke away down near 
)rake street before 10 o'clock; I was 
lore and saw it" asserts another 
ioneer eye-witness. "We were build- 
ng the roadbed for the railway from 
jarrall street to the proposed round- 
louse site. The ground above the site 
was being cleared by the regular clear- 
ng gang, not in our employ. I saw the 
ire was getting dangerous, and im- 
mediately put some of our men — they 
volunteered — to help them fight the 
fire, cautioning our men that, if it got 
away from where it was semi-cleared, 
hey were not to attempt to fight it, or 
would lose their lives." 



"Shortly after noon the fire got out 

if control; it gained such momentum 

is lo completely obscure the sky; the 

air \>as just one mass of fiery flame 

driven before a southwest gale. We 

never heard again of our three gallant 

ohmteers; sterling men of splendid 

:haracter; they must have perished; 

heir bodies were never found. The 

iler of our men were forced out 

our camp on the shore just west of 

he present Cambie street bridge, and 

riven into False Creek, where some 

Indians in canoes rescued them. 

"I hurried down to our little office 

here the North Vancouver ferry now 

nds, and had been there but a few 

(Continued mi Page Eizih'.} 

(Continued from. Page One.) 
moments when a rabble of people 
rushed hv. I walked a few yards 
up to -Gassy Jack's,' but before 1 
got there the 'Sunnyside' across 
the street was a mass of flame, 
and before I could get back to the 
office I had just left, that was 
afire; I saved nothing. 

"I waded out into the water be- 
tween Carrall and Columbia 
streets. The heat was so intense 
we gasped for breath. Close to thi 
surface of the sea was a cooler 
strata of air; we held our moutha. 
close to the surface, and breathe! 
that; it saved us." 

"One huge flame, a hundred feet 
long, burst from the Deighton 
Hotel, leaped 'Maple Tree Square,' 
and swallowed up the buildings 
where now stands the Europe 
Hotel; the fire went down the oW 
'Hastings road' (Alexander street* 
faster than a man could Tun. Two 
iron tires and some ashes was all 
that was left of man, horse and 
cart which perished in the middle . 
of Carrall street. 

"The grcat-heartedness of the 
of New Westminster is an 
imperishable recollection. Young 
men on horseback raced up and 
down the streets of the Royal City 
shouting that Vancouver had been 
destroyed, and its people without 
and covering. Housewives 
hurriedly put up food; the Hyack 
Fire Brigade collected it. Towards 
sundown came a galloper through 
a slit in the forest, the 'New 1. 
— the 'Old Road* was block< i 

■aying that help was' fol- 
lowing. His Worship Mayor "One. 
Lean sent messengers to wher 
people were huddled together for 
the night that they were to as- 
semble at the south end of False 
Creek bridge (near C. N. R, 

"Then followed what was prob- 
ably the sorriest procession Van- 
couver ever saw. No tears, no 
whimpering, only the stern visages 
of hungry men, women and chil- 
dren who had lost all, garbed in 
such as they wore when they first 
ran, w r ith faces black with sweat 
and charcoal, straggling in group3 
through the darkness oi" that rough 
old hush trail along the- shore. 

At midnight two wagon loads of 
eatables arrived; fried eggs be- 
tween slices of bread, or hard 
boiled in a soda can for protection. 
By the feeble light of lantern or 
candle, the weaker were served i 
first; the men got what was left; 
at dawn another wagon arrived. 

"Many persons were burned; of 
bandages there were none. A single 
telephone ran from New West- 
minster to Onderdonk's camp at 
Port Moody, and by it went the 
news. Four sailors from ^uno 
ship, with splendid acumen, im- 
mediately set out in a row boat 
with medical supplies, and reached 
the bivouac after midnight, hungry 
and exhausted after their long 
pull. Ail eatables had beer, 
snmed, but amongst the debris of 
empty boxes a missed parcel was 
found. Between the sandwiches 
was a little note in a woman's 
writing, saying that it was 'very 
little, but all I have.' The sailor- 
man turned to the east, and with 
hand raised in supplication, im- 
plored the Almiehty to bless the 
people of New Westminster, and 
never suffer upon them such 
tribulation as surrounded him; :i 
sort of thing you don't expect 
from a rough sailorman, and in 
the middle of the night. 

"A few -boards made a rude table 
in a shed at the other end 
bridge, and into this improvised 
morgue, feebly lit by candle light, 
the all-night procession of dis- 
tracted iu search of their loved 
. the bearers with the dead, 
sorrowfully came and went. At 

sunrise, twenty-one parcels of 
charred fragments — not bodies- 
each with a pinned note telling 
where it was picked up, lay on 
that rough table. 

"The fire occurred at a time 
when families were scattered, ll 
was a beautiful Sunday afternoon; 
the mid-day meal was over, the 
children at Sunday school, youth 
abroad seeking pleasure, older 
folks, many of them new "arrivals, 
exploring, their future home. Then, 
with relentless swiftness, and the 
fury of a blast furnace, a great 

tongue of flame swept down on a 
people directly in its path; each 
person flew for his own life. One 
building escaped, the Reginu Hotel 
(S.W. corner Water and Cordova 

"How many perished will never 
be known* Two weeks later, build- 
ing operations disclosed, beneath 
a part-burned mattress, the re- 
mains of one poor fellow who had 
sought its protection; his grave is 
on Hastings street, near the City 
Hall. Three bodies, evidently 
strangers, father, mother and 
child, were recovered, their cloth- 
ing unharmed, from a shallow well 
of water near the present police 
station; they had suffocated. A 
skeleton found two decades later 
was identified, by a watch, as of 
the fire. It was the burning gum 
and pitch, with its bitter black 
smoke as suffocating as burning 
oil. which made the fire so terrible; 
death by suffocation was the awful 
fate el' 

"I was a girl then," recalls a 
lady, "the fire was coming at a 
terrific rate; I raced to my skiff, 
and hurried home, but had scarce 
got as far as Deadmans Island 
when all was gone. It was a grand 
but awfvd sight.'' 



The embers of our first city 
were still smouldering w T hen the 
present one arose. Sunday saw 
ruin; Monday the yellow scantling? 
s:tood a harmonising color in a 
black desert) "Raised from the 
Ashes in Three Days" read the 
sign on the old C. P. R. Hotel 
(afterwards Northern) on Hast- 
ings street. 

Historic Gastown vanished; 
nothing remained save its soul; 
save the spirit of resolute men and 
courageous women. How was it 
rebuilt? By faith, and the char- 
acter of its people. Out of the dust 
of "the village at the entrance" 
(to Burrard Inlet) — Col. Moody so 
alludes to it in 1863— rose our 
world port; a metropolis of beauty 
and of culture, of gallant men and 
graceful women, of green lawns 
and monumental edifices, the 
beautiful well-governed home of an 
enlightened and humane people. 

What good purpose — it mud 
have had some great purpose — 
the Great Fire served, what grave 

lesson it. taught, perhaps steeled 
by ordeal to speed us on to better 
things, none may know save He 

who knoweth all; even when a 
sparrow falL 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 59 



Vancouver, a New City in Ashes 


To the 

fro m 

. — Oourtftf H. T, Dt". inf. 

Looking from pn lent City ft ent 0. P. R. ttation. White tent, owned and erected 

by teeUJptovm pioneer, George !!. Gordon, sfood^on corner of Cordova, and Carroll afreets 
and within which sev, ght of ■!"-<■ H-1S, 1SSS. Stump in foreground Hill 

exists— on C. P. R. crossing soon to be removed— within fifty iiards of present City HoM. iicnino, 
" ul <:l on southwest corner Water and Gamble streets in background. 

Vancouver, ft 
Seventh avenue, 
.1/ oitnt Pleasant, 
189Q, showing re- 
mains of old "New 
Road," note Kings- 
■wSy, then a invh\ 
winding path of 
holes betwixt tail 
timbers, and down 
which the great- 
hearted people of 
New Westminster 
rushed with aid. 
Also the more re- 
cent "Westminster 
■'■'," ;ro!<j Main 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 60 


Item# EarlyVan_v2_161 


liver Fire 


CAN it be true, or ii it 
but a dream; this story 
of our pioneers? It is 
that men — and women— 
stU3 walk who saw the 
sbadeleas forest where blinks tta 
red and green ot signals; 

who knew the silent solitude where 
shines the blaze of neon signs? 


Who were these men ; these men 
of simple tastes, simple clothes, 
who feared God, honored the King, 
and had empires in their b 
They came silently, sans music, 
sans heralds, sometimes in a row- 
boat; men of peace, reason, jus- 
tice ; no sword was drawn, no blood 
is on our name. With cool, quiet 
courage they — and their wives — 
hacked out a clearing for a garden 
on the shore. May we, and our 
work, we who have come after to 
the completion of their great 
dreams, have found favor in their 

The creation of our city, i 
out of the depths of dark primeval 
forest, was an achievement un- 
equalled in the annals of the 
human race. There is no tale in 
the great chronicle of human en- 
deavor which provides a more ro- 
mantic, inspiring story; its vast 
significance is not fully recognized ; 
we are too close to the event. 

For aeons our land had Iain in 
motionless repose, a silent thing, 
an empty space, hidden beneath an 
interminable green forest spread- 
ing on and beyond, and through 
which, at wide intervals, the 
tips of snowcapped ranges broke 
like the foaming crests of waves 
breaking in green seas; the shores 
concealed a thousand coves, a. 
thousand fairy paradises, framed 
in green ; the air was fragrant in 
its purity. Then into the "Great 
Silence" came 'The Builders," a 
strange race with white faces, and 
soon there came the railway. 

The railway made Canada whole; 
linked up the loose ends of an em. 
pire : changed the gyrations of 
world trade. The recurrence of 
consequences so momentous to the 
human race, born or unborn, is 
unlikely. The great epoch of col- 
onization, commencing with Co- 
lumbus and his few, has ended 
with the settlement of the last 
great wilderness ; • " v 

. i . t . 

Such is the epitome of a grand 
story which will yet enchant the 
coming generations. 


Captain \ ''s Journal— 

"About noon (June 18; 17f>2> we 
were met by about fifty Indians in 
canoes . . . presented us with 
fish, cooked and undressed . . . 
examined the color of our skins 
with groat curiosity," 

Col. Moody, Royal Engineers, 
Jan. 25, 1863— "Memo for Capt. 
Parsons, R.E.: 'I wish Corporal 
Turner and party to proceed to 
Burrard Met to revise posts for 
town near entrance . . . survey 
een such point and the 
village which has been laid out en 

English Bay'a Narrow Escape — 

.Sir William Van Home, vice-presi- 
dent C. P. R., March 14, 1885— 
"Owing to the £ 

•'.:' in the Pi »'s. the 

entrance to Burrard Inlet for large 
steamships will be almost imprac- 
ticable, and froth, investigations 
made it seems that English Bay 
must be utilized as the main har- 
bor ... the construction of 
docks, etc., will in voh. 

Here Before the 

A itircjully-prepared list 
of more than four hiwdred 
now living who were 
Vancouver before the great 
fire appears an page 9 of 
this section. 

tracts of level ground for terminal 
sidings and yards, and the only 
ground suitable is that on the naval 
reserve (Jericho golf course), 
* Our First Mayors Prophecy — 
His Worship Mayor M. A. Mac- 
Lean (own handwriting, 1886) — 
One hardly dares conjecture what 
marvels fifty years may work in 
the wild urn ess. Half a century is 
but a little while; even a quarter 
of a century has wrought amazing 

Memories of "Gas town" — (Year 
indicates year of arrival in "Gas- 
town"). Gather nearer; close 
around tbe etrel*. Harken as each 
pioneer fondly tells the tale of 
days of long ago, 

Mrs. Ruth Morton, 1884, widow, 
John Morton. Vancouver's first 
resident (1882)— "Mr. Morton was 
anxious to show me the white sand 
on a beach (English Bay), but the 
only rowboat was leaky. While I 
was sitting on the beach at the 
foot of Carrall street, I watched a 
sow digging clams, and a crow 
hopping along near her, making a 
meal on tbe stray I 

Joseph Morion, John Morton's 
only son— "Father and I were 
walking near where now stands 
ihe Marine Building when he said 
to me: 'Do >-,m iee that Will? 
That's where we built our cabin' " 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 62 

Al, zander McLean, 1868— "The 
high water flooded our Pitt River 
land, go we boarded the 
agahl, and went in search of dry 
land on which to farm; we cruised 
all around where Vancouver nuw 
is, and up as far as Port Moody." 

B. S. Kowlings, 18(58— "The trail 
from 'Gastown' (Carrall street) 
to Hastings would accommodate 
pedestrians only. I hauled Iocs 
with oxen down Gore avenue, also 
out of the Park at Brockton Point, 
had a logging camp at Greer's 
Beach, and another on Granville 
street at Pal iVhen Hast- 

ings street was first opened up, 
the year of 'the fire,' it was one 
awful «'ood- 

ward'x you could hardly get teams 
through even in the midii:. 

Ect. C. M. Tate, 187;?— "The In- 
dian church at the foot of Abbott 

street was on a lot washed by the 
waters of Burrard Tntet; henee. it 
was very convenient for the In- 
dians, and also for tbe preacher's 
boat, as the only means of getting 

John Strang, 1873— "There were 
I seven white families in Gastown 
;and six in Moodyville. Jerry Rogers 
had three logging camps, one on 
Cordova street, one at Greer's 
Beach (Kitsiluno) and headquarters 
al Jericho." 

Hngh E. Campbell, ISS5— " 'K»r- 
<vy' Jack, Bill Cotdiner and the 
Suilivans helped to clear the forest, 
back of Water street, off old Gran- 

Otway Wilfcie, 1883 — "We (party 
surveying line for railway from 
Port Moody) reached 'Gastown' on 
Christmas Day, 1S84 — in a snow- 
, storm." 

C. E. Piltendrigh, 1876— "I shot 
'leer and grouse where the city of 
Vancouver now sty- 
Mrs, J. Cronin, 1883— ''I came 

by Hastings road, a mere horse 
trail through the woods," 

Mrs, H. A. Christie— "The pio- 
neer newspaper of Burrard Inlet 
was the 'Moodyvilie Tickler,' first 
issued July 20, 1878, Price 80 cents 
per copy." 

George Cary, 1884 — "Many a 
night, as I lay in bed in my front 
room in Tom Cyrs' Granville Hotel 
on Water street, I have heard the 
deer's hoofs go tap, tap, tap on 
the board sidewalk beneath. The 
deer up in the C. P. R. Townsite 
(Granville and Hastings streets) 
got used to the men slashing, and 
became fairly tame." 

D, Sutherland, 1882— "There was 
a mud road where Water street is; 
a rough trail ran to the (False) 
Creek about Carrall street. Cor- 
dova street and Hastings street 
were hoavily timbered." 

Capt. F. R. Glover— A walk from 
Water street to Pender street at 
high tide usually meant wet feet; 
at extreme high tide the waters of 
the Inlet and the Creek almost 
flowed into one another." 

w. I|. Gallagher, 1SS0— "Carrall 
and Water H -res; 

Cordova was residential." 

1. \. Hamilton. 1SSS (who laid 
out our streets)— "I can not my 


that I am pleased with the original 
planning of Vancouver; the work 
was beset with many difficulties; 
the dense forest, the Inlet on the 
north, the creek on the south, a 
registered plan on the east, an- 
other on the west, and old Gran- 
ville in the centre. Then I had to 
make the principal streets lead 
northernly and southernly to a 
large block of land south of False 
Creek, T planned all the streets 
leading westernly (from Bur raid 
street) so that they would run 
without a jog, but one owner de- 
termined to fight in the courts to 
prevent any change is the regis- 
tered plan, and I was able to give 
continuous line on alternate streets 

"The comer post, with nail in 
centre of top, from which the sur- 
vey of Vancouver commenced, was 
planted with a certain amount of 
ceremony at the comer of Hast- 
ings and Hamilton streets. Those 
whom I recall with me were the 
late Commcloro C. Gardner John- 
son, John Leask, first city auditor, 
,iaek Stewart, now Major-Genera! 

Stewart, and Louis , chief 


Richard Trodden, 1884— ''I helped 
to lay the first plank sidewalk on 
Hastings street." 

Edward Cook, 1SS6— "The force 
and heat of the flame was terrific; 
those who did not dash off in the 
first five minutes were burned to 
a erti 

J. A. Mateer, 1885— "We had no 
water supply other than wells." 
"The famous Maple Tree was de- 
stroyed in the fire." 

H. T. Devine, 1 886— "For two or 
three days we camped In the 
middle of Abbott street." 

A. M. Whiteside — "I saw the fire 
from New Westminster; in the 

Theo. Bryant, 1878 — "A big 
cloud of dark smoke drifting over 
Sumas Mountain indicated a big 
fire somewhere; there were no 
telephones in those days." 

A. K. Stuart, 1836— "Mayor Mc- 
Lean told me later that my story 
to the London Morning Post 

brought him $500 for relief pur- 
'ron; that paper." 
Ur. H. E. Langis, 1S84— "My 
poor skeleton," mourned Dr. Lan- 
ds, whose anatomical specimen 
was found beneath the ruins of his 
office, "do you know what they 
said when they picked it up. Well, 
they said,. 'This poor fellow must 
naye been sick before he died; 
look, his bones are ai! wired 
together.' " 

George R. Gordon, 1886— "What 
rebuilt it? (Vancouver). Why, 
faith; we'd nothing else; ail we 
had left was our debts." 

Peter Gonzales, 1877— "I atill 
bear the scars of that disastrous 

George L. Schetky, 1S86— 
(Member Vancouver Volunteer 
Fire Brigade). "That reminds me 
of the bush fire at the corner of 
Howe and Pender streets, where 
-rather Clmtor. lost his hai 
got back about three in the morn- 
ing, and found the women had 
turned out with hot coffee and 
sandwiches; that was the start of 

the * Coffee Bripade;* the women 
always turned out after that.'' 

Mrs. McGovern — "Grown men, 
the silly things, would race across 
the street to see the train come ir.; 
they had never Been one. Father 
used to assure them it was Quite 
safe to go on board." 

Dr. "Bob" Hathlton, Kelowna, 
1886— "I was printer on Vancou- 
ver's first newspaper, the 
'Herald.' " 

Mrs. S. W. Handy, 1884— "My 
step-father, James Southam, then 
late British navy, put his land 
script on 1B0 acres of what is now 
Stanley Park." 

James McWhinnie, 1878 — "Jeri- 
cho! Oh, that was a little cove, 
first known as 'Jerry's Cove'; 
Jerry Rogers had a logging camp 

John McDougall, 1878— "I built 
the wagon road (now Kingsway) 
in 1884; later I cleared the forest 
off 440 acres west of Burrard 

Mrs. J. Z, Hall (daughter of Ham 
Greer, of Greer's Beach, and 

site of the present Kitsilano bath- 
house) — A two-plank sidewalk led 
from our front door to the sandy 
beach; beyond the picket gate was 
a log we used to tie our boats to. 
Along the beach were a few 
bushes; above Cornwall street the 
enormous trees were very dense. 
Our cows pastured in the swamp 
behind. It was a fairy dell on a 
silent shore. 

Mrs. Percy Nye — The Simpsons 
built the first bathing pavilion at 
English Bay — a bit of a shack. I 
built the second out of bits of 
boards and driftwood; 1 was just 
a girl. I charged 5 cents for indi- 
viduals and 10 cents for families; 
saved the nickels and bought a 

Many pioneers of 1866 — Good old 
black Joe Fortes, bartender, shoe- 
shine and man of jobs at the 
Sunnyside; one of the only two 
men to whom Vancouver has 
erected a monument. 

William Walton, 188E — After 
the fire I built a shack on the 
island in Coal Harbor. One day I 
came home and found someone had 
buried a Chinaman near, and about 
aimonth later they planted another 
dead man near my house. 1 said 
to my partner, "I'm going to get 
out of this; this is a regular dead 
man's island." "Good name for it," 
he replied. When the Chinese riots 
took plaj* ;hey wanted me for a 
witness, but I had gone to my 
island to look at some traps 1 had 
set for coon* They asked my 
partner where I was. He said 
Deadmans Island." They said, 
"Where's that?" He told them and 
the name stuck, 

George L. Allen, 1886 — Camlm 
street was undoubtedly our first 
playground, and before Stanley 
Park, too. Al Larwell was honor- 
ary caretaker, the city's first. A 
fine man, strict, but the boys loved 
aim just the same. 

George H. Keefer, 1885— When 
it became known that we were sur- 
veying for water to be brought 
across the Inlet we were thought 
to be just a little queer. How 
water could bo brought across the 
foaming tides of the First Narrows 
was a bit of a puzzler for some 
who drew their water from wells. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 63 

Philip Oben, 1887— Chief Joe 
Cap llano, who iu mr guide, told 

me I was the first white man ' 
penetrate to the headw r atcrs of tb 
Capiiano River. I was sent to fini 
out where the river came from. Jo 
and I came out on Howe Sound* 

James A. Smith, 1888— I 
lost in the forest. I slid (tow 

11 cliff; it n. 
St rath cons, above the Quilchel 
golt eo 

H. 1'. McCraney, 1885Worm 
Clough, the official street lamp- 
lighter, had been appointed, at (30 
per month, to light the coal -oil 
lamps on the street lamp posts, but 
people were tried of coal-oil and 
candles, so we started the electric 
light plant; the street lights we it 
thirty-two cand]ei'M,VL-vi: , - l little 
"glowworms." The first street car 
track I laid ou Granville street, 
. just above Pacific street on the 
level, so that the horses would have 
an easy start when they com- 
menced to pull. 

Captain Percy Nye. ISM— 1 was 
walking up the board sidewalfc^tfi 
Granville street when I saw '-ti 
woman in white coining through 
the !>'; street way.' : Sne 

called, "Is my boy under there?" 
Granville street was road on one 
side only; the other was a ho]lo*w 
and the board walk elevated aboui 
six feet on stilts. 1 jumped down 
and peeped under the sidewalk into 
a boy's play shack made outpf 
boards and lined with newspapers 
I often wonder what distinguished 
citizen of today had his "pirate's 
den" under the board walk opposite 
the Hudson's Bay store. 

Mrs. H. E. Campbell, 1890— Some 
one cried, "Ob, look, come look!" 
We all rushed to the window, .it 
was a woman crossing the field 
where now is the airport; women 
were rare morsels in those dajs. 

A. C. Muir, Comox, 1884— Van- 
couver newspapers continually re* 
port roe as one of the "pioneei 
dead." Now just who may thej 

W. E. Graveley, 1885— Yes 
Mayor MacLean was a man oi 
broad vision, generous to a fault 
and a man of whom Vancouver 
might w r elf be proud to have ha<; 
for its first mayor. He served with- 
out salary. Many of our first aider- 
men, too, were distinguished men 
sf great heart and understanding. 




Here Before the Fire- 
The La£t Four Hundre* 

THE scroll of historic names comprising "The Last Four Hundred" i» a eompara- 
■ rontplrtc list of those how living who, prior to the great fire of 1386, con- 
trifaited in some measure, great or small, towards the founding of oar city. It includes, 
with special exceptions, those who, in the years prior to that date and witkin the 
boundaries of the present city, were born, vwned land, or had some avocation. Those 
ttUl resident in our city namber £85 in a total of US listed. 

The rapid rate at which our pioneers arc passing is illustrated bu tlie demise of 
no less than five while this list was being compiled. 

In an endeavor to avoid the omission of a single name, over 700 letters of enquiry, 
in addition to press notices, were circulated. It is requested that omissions or twt- 
perfections be brought to the notice of the archivist, Vancouver Fublic Library, where 
the roll will be preserved. 


Alexander McLean 


Mrs. P. A. Byrne, nee Rowling, New 

Frank Plante, Valemount 
George W. DeBeck 
W. H. Rowling, San Pedro, California 
H, S. Rowling 


James D. Magee 
John H. Scales 

The '63s 

James Cromarty, Langley 

Mrs. Mary C. Dester, nee Magee 

H. C. Magee 


Mrs. Jennie Alike, nee Johns, Long Beach 

F. W. Alexander, Seattle 

C, W. Magee, Abbottsford 

Mre, R. Preston, New Westminster 


George Greene 

Hugh Murray, Royal Sappers and Miners 

Mrs. A. R. Poole, nee Wood, Armstrong 


.Mrs. J. L. G. Abbott, nee Alexander 
Mrs, H. Davidson, nee McKee 
Miss May Magee, Seattle 
S. McC. MoKeen, Langley 
Rev. C, M. Tate 
Archibald Johns 


R. H. Batt, late H.M.S. "Myrmidon" 
Peter Bilodeau, New Westminster 
Mrs. A. F. Crakantharp, nee Patterson 
Mrs. George Newman, nee Strang, New 

C. O, Pattt 

N. R. Preston, New Westminster 
John Strang, New Westminster 
Capt. A. ,E. Stevens, North Vancouver 
T. J. Trapp, New Westminster 


George Elliott, New Westminster 

Mrs. Thomas G. Fisher 

Miss Edith Magee, Seattle 

Frank P. Miller 

Mrs. T. R. Pearson, nee Major, South 

Casper Phair, Lillooet 
Miss E. J. Rowling, New Westminster 


L. A. Agassis, Ag 

William Daniels 

Dan Daniels 

Harry Daniels, Chemainus 

Mrs. George W. DeBeck 

TV. J. French, Sec holt 

George R. Greenwood 

Mrs. May Hiland, nee Preston, New 

M. H. .Logan 

John Murray, Port Moody 
Capt. J. TV. Rogers, New Westminster 
R. E. R 
J, L. Walker, Walker's Trail 


Thomas Binnie, New Westminster 

Mrs. William Daniels 

Mrs. Angus C. Fraser 

Mrs. Fred Jackson, nee Morrison, New 

Fred O. Magee, Bowen Island 
D. Mali 

Walter C. Miller 
D, W. McCallmn 
Mrs, Alexander McLean 
Fred J. Patterson 

C. E. Pittendrigh, New Westminster 
Mrs. Blanche A, Rowling, nee Daniels 
Adam D. Scott 
Mrs ; C. A. Welsh, nee Williams, New 

TT estminster 


Mrs. Jane Beach 
Dan Callaghan, Haney 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 64 


A. H. Ferguson, New Westminster* 
W, J. Fisher 

Peter Gonzales, North Vancouver 
Hans Hanson, Port Neville 
Mrs. W, H. Johnston, nee McLean, Black- 
pool, B, C. 

eR. Pearson, South Westminster 
rs. Frank Smith, nee Johns, Victoria 


Theodore Bryant, Ladyemith 

Mrs, J. F. Christie, nee Fraser 

Richard W, Geddard, Milner 

W, A, Johnston 

Mrs. T. M. Logan, nee McClecry 

Mrs. N. E. Lougheed, nee Paull 

J. J. Morrison, Tort Langley 

John McDougall, QueEnel 

R. J. J. McCann, Hammond* 

Mrs. E. B. McKelvie, nee Soule 

John McLean, Sapperton 

James McWhinnie 

Duncan A. Smith 

George H. Turnbull, New Westminster 

Mrs. Janet M. Turnbull, New Westminster 

William Nicoll 


W. O. Anderson 

Mrs, Eva Coldwell 

D. C. Fisher 

Mrs. G. W. Gilley, Langley Prairie 

Herbert Gilley, New Westminster 

D. B. Grant 

Mrs. M. A. King, nee Blair, Penticton 

R. A, Lambert 

Mrs. H. R. May, nee Daniels 

D. A. McKec 

Robert MeKee, New Westminster 

Mrs. J. Reynolds Tite, nee Fsull 

Charles W. Williams 

The '70s 

Florence M. Clarke 

. Cudlip, Victoria 
('apt. John • Irving, Victoria 
JIr«. D. Tudd I.ees, nee Miller 
Capt. Joseph Mayers, New Westminster 
Mrs. S. S. Monchan, New Westminster 
Mrs. Edith Nelson, nee Cordiner 
Miss Annie Rogers, New Westminster 

G, R. Raymond, Vernon 
Stanley Touile, Milner, B. C. 
Mr. and Mrs, Robert Wintemute, New 


Mrs. William Archibald, New Westminster 

John Blair 

C. V. Caldwell 

S. Gregory, New Westminster 

Alexander Houston, Fort Langley 

W. Morrison, Fort Langley 

A. 0. Morrison, Hammond 

Miss Margaret E. McCleery 

Mrs. Etta MfKibbin, nee Magcc, Winnipr- 

James A. McLean, Seattle 

H. J. Newton, Hammond 

H. N. Rich, Ladner 

Ernest S. Robson 

Samuel Scarlet 

Capt. E. S, Scoullar 

Mrs. (Bishop) A. W. Eiillitoe 

James Springer, Powell River 

Wymond W. Walxem 


V. A. Balalti 
rs. H. B. Barton, nee McCleary 
' T. Blair, Penticton 

D. Campbell, Ashcroft 
rs. C. D. Gilianders, nee Thompson 
, Ludlow, loco 

rs. D. M. Moore, nee Thompson 
lohn McMynn 
Trs. William Nkrll 
. N. Nelson, Steveston 
ia. Ben Thorn a b 

W. Thorn 
lomas Whipple 
ipt. F. M, Yorke 

1882 H. M- Keefer, Savary Island 

Colin Dawson, Calgary A , nd T y Linttm „,,,,, 

James Dunn W. Lawrence, Gambler Island 

James M. Drummond, West Vancouver JJ rs - |- M ' Metcalfe 

Mrs, Ruth Morton 
Joseph Morton 
A, McJI. Matheson 
William Mashiter, Sqnamish 
C, W, Murray sr. 

J. H. Gannon, Dawson, Y.T, 

Mr. and Mrs. D. G 

T, A. Greer 

Fred R. Greer, Chicago 

Mrs. Augusta Haggman, Seattle 

W. K. Lord 

John Lattimora 

A. A, Langley 

H. C. Major, New Westminster 

Henry Mahlman 

John Mole, Ladner 

William Hackle 

Mrs. S. McCleery, nee Mole 

J. F. McLellan, Langley 

George M. Matheson * 
A. C Muir, Comox 
W. U. JIacddnald* 
J. 0. McLeod 
Joaeph W. McFarland 
Mrs. Jemima McKie, nee Reid, Grand Fork 
Mrs. T, F. McGuigan, nee Stewart, 

L. w. Patten 
David Price 

Mrs. D. A. Pearson, nee Fisher, Mission James Pargeter, Nanaimo 

A, JL Soule 

D. Sutherland, McGuire, B. C. 

Mrs. T. E. Thomas, nee McLean 

George Wagg 

Mrs. Geurge C. McGown 


Mrs. L. E. Blaney, nee Randall 
Mrs, J, Cronin, nee Blackstock 
G. B. Clarke, Penticton 
R. C. Clarke, Keremcos 

A. C. Dyker, North Vancoutre 1 ' 

B. Goddaid 

Mrs. Louisa Greer , 

Sam Hallandcr 
S. F. James 
Grorg,. .Mm.r,,,, 
Mrs. Ben. b. Kennedy, nee Haggman, ! 

WeHujL id' or 
Peter Larson 
Mrs. D. Martinson 
Jaines ?i 
P. J. Myers 

Mrs. H. N. Rich, Ladner 
Isaac RusstJI, Langley Prairie 
Mrs. R, Schnoter, nee Johns 
Mrs. Nellie A. Wight, nee Randall 
J. T. Wilkir, 
Otway J. J. Wilkie 

J. W. Randall 
James Rae 

Harry Rae 

Mrs. D. R. Re id 

R. S. Russell 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Robson, New 

Mrs. A. J. Scott, nee Matheson, 
James B. Smith 

Hector A. Stewart* 

John M. Stewart, Ruby Creek 

Calvert Simson 

K. J. Smith, Prince Rupert 

Mrs. S. C. Towle, Milner 

H, H. Vigor 

F. K. Vigor, London, England 

E. R. Vigor, Chico, California 



Mrs. Lena Alltree, nee Bowman 

Charles Allard 

Mr. and Hr». V. G, Bell 

Thomas H. Boyd 

Mrs, W. E. Brown, nee Zwieker, New 

James Brown, Garden City 
Mrs. James Best, Haney 
W. H. Chase 

Mrs. W. E. Draney, nee Reid 
Miss V. C. Fisher 
R. G. Forsyth - 
Mrs. T. J. Fife, Hollywood 
D. Galbraith, Squamish 
J. E. Gilmore, Cachalott 
Mrs. S. W. Handy, Cascade 
Ernest H. Hall 

F. W. Haggman, New Westminster 
Mry. M. J, Janes ■ 
W. J. Janes 

A. T. Janes 
R, C. Janes 

B. Fillip Jacob sen, Bella Coola 
F. C. Jones, Fort Langley 

J. T. Abray, North Vancouver 

Mrs. Elida Austin, nee Bell, Revelstoke 

Mrs, Josh Bowyer, nee Ballinger 

A. J. Banham 

George Barnes 

J. N. J. Brown 

E. W. Bradshaw, Sullivan 

His Worship E, H. Bridgeman, North 

Harry B. Gamble 
Mrs. W. H. Chase 
P. H. Cody 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cornish 
W. S. Cook 
G. W, Campbell 

L. D, Card, Pert OrcrrardrWaslE 

John CalIister~_^_ J ^ „. .,. i -p .' 

James Doig ^^^SfE UlttsM rem 

Hugh Dunn 

Nelson Dunn 

Mrs. Thomas Earle, Laurier, Wash. 

W. H, Evans 

R, C, Ferguson 

John H, Freney, Rossland 

Mrs. W. M. Gow. 

Mrs. E. P. Gerrard 

W. E. Graveley 

John G. Garvin 

W.'H. Grant, Victoria 

Alderman L, A. Hamilton, Toronto 

Sc f wnuers Irtjmtft % <&tt at StuuV, p»ms$n*tty 
Haws In ©riutti? to U%ir E»hm*s— <§m 0% Is 
Sljiur iRuttumrai 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 65 


F. W. Hart, Prince Rupert 

G. B. Harris 
V. W. Haywood 
W. D. Haywood 
W. A. Housley 

Mrs. John W. Jackson, Nehalem, Ore. 

John Kelly 

W. F. Kent 

Mrs. M. L. Kirk, nee Janes 

George H. Keefer, Victoria 

John M. Keefer, Chilllwack 

George Lamarre 

Mrs. Lillian Lycette, nee Card 

Dr. H. E. Langis, Parksville 

J. A. Mateer 

H. W. Martin, Winnipeg 

Mrs, William Martin 

L. J. Martin 

James J. Mel lard 

John Mitchell 

George E. Morris 

J. J, Moore, Bowen Island 

Mrs. C. W. Murray 

Fred P. Murray 

Whitley Murray 

A. G. Murray 

C. Walter Murray 

Miss C. J. Mutlow. 

John W. MeKeown 

Alex. McKinnon 

A. G. McC-andlesa 

H. P. McCraney 

Mrs. G. T, McGregor 

Mrs. J. O. McLeod . 

Peter McMillan, Langtey 

Mrs, John McMynn 

Ronald McNeill, Port Albcrni 

Mrs. A. A. McSwain, Berkeley, Cal. 

Sfrs. N. G. O'Connor, nee Bell, New 

R. V. Palmer 

H. E. Parsons, New Westminster 
C. J. P. Phibbs, Port Kells 
Mis. M. E. Paul, nee Pyatt, Port Albcrni 
R, L. Roid, K.C. 
Mrs. T. Richardson, nee Jones 
A. K. Stuart, Hope 
Capt. W, C. Somerville 
Giles Shelton 
Herbert Springer 

Major-General J. W, Stewart, C.B. 
Mrs. Q, J. Trotter, Kew Beach 
Mrs. J. M, Vye nee Martin 
William Whipple 
J. G. Woods 
J, Walton; Eburne 
Charles. Weigand 
John Winter 

WiUtajn Walton, Port Cocjuitlam 
Charles Wellington, Pemberton 


P. H. Atkinson 

Mrs. T, C. Alcock ■ 

George L. Allen ■ 

Mrs. Cecil Atkinson, nee Haldon 

E. E. Austin ■ 

Mrs, S. A. Blenkinsop 

Mrs. Isabella Best, nee Thomas 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Benson 

E. C. Britton 

Mrs. A. M. Balfour 

Mrs. Harvey Bawden, nee Balfour 

Henry Balfour, Montreal 

C. L. Behnsen, Victoria 

J. W. Biggar, South Westminster 

Mrs. J. L. Burnham, nee Hodgson, Kelowt 

W. W. Boultbee 

John Bausman 

G. T. Buck 

Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Campbell, San Pedro 

J. J. Cowderoy 

J. H. Carlisle 

John Crow 

George A. Clair 

Edward Cook 

George Cary 

E. K. Collect 

Hugh E. Campbell 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cooke 

Kobert Chambers 

Capt. C. H. Cares 

Roderick Cummings, Murrayville 

Mrs. Alice Disney 

H. T. Devine 

R. E. Darrall, Likely, B. C. 

Mrs. Thomas Evans, nee Alcock* 

Mrs. Emily Eldoif • 7 

Mrs. Catherine Eaton 

Mrs. C. P. Eastman, nee McMurpby 

A. C. Fisher 

Daniel Fulton 

George R. Gordon 

Moses Gibson 

Mrs. A. A. Gilchrist 

W. H. Gallagher 

Hugh Gunn, New Westminster 

Charles A. Gardner, New Westminstei 

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Grauer, Eburne • . 

A. P. Grant, New Westminster ' 

Mrs. E. Hampton, nee Best, Haney 

C. M. Hawley 

Mrs. F. A. Hewer, nee Boultbee, Gibsons 

G. H. Hodgson, White Rock 

R. C. Hodgson 

Mrs. C. Gardner Johnson i 

David Lamb, Murrayville 

Mrs. John Leask, nee Hamilton. Colling- 

wood, Ont, 
Mrs. J. H, Low, nee Akock 
W. H. Macey 
Fred C. Macey 
Miss Alice J. Macey 
Mrs. S. Maeey, Prince Rupert 
Paul Marinette 
Thomas Mathews 
Donald Matbeson, Margaret Bay 
Dr. Robert Mathison, Kclowna 
Mrs. James Monroe, Chill iwaek 
Fred S. Munro 
Mrs, Emma Munro 
F. W. McCrady, C. E-, Alert Bay 
John McDowell 

D. B. McDougald, Mt. Lehman 
Mrs. D. R. McEavhern, Sardis 
Mrs. Alice McGIrr 
A. B. MeKenzie, Nanaimo 
Wilson McKinnon, Prince Rupert 
Miss Emma McLeod 
Alex McLeod, Butedale , 
His Worship T. F. Neelands 
Mrs. S. J. Oldfield 
W. M. Oldfield 
C. N. Oldfield, Steveston 
Edmund Ogle, Toronto 
Elijah Priest 

Mrs. S. II. Ramage, nee Sanders 
Arthur Kubitisou 
Phillip Rowe, Nanaimo 
Mrs. J. B. Rose, nee Boultbee 
James H. Ross, Winchester, Ont. 
George L. Sehetky 
J. B. Silverthorne 
A. E. Solloway 
L. T. Solloway • 
J. Fred Sanders 
John Simpson, New Westminster 

F. C. Tilley, Bradner 
Thomas Taylor 

Mrs. Robert Telford, nee Munro 
Thomas A. Tribe 
Sylvester Tallman 
R. Trodden, Spences Bridge 

G. F. Up ham 
Hugh A. Urquhart 
William S. Udy, Milner 
Mrs. George W. Ward, nee AJcock 
Leonard Watt 
Mrs. Martha W. Weirs 
Mrs. R. Willis 
Mrs. W. H. Wooley, nee Martinson 

Here Before "The Fire** 

Mrs. F. E. Arkell 

Sirs. Mary A. Buck, nee Plante, Monroe, 

Mrs. W. A. Bauer, nee Springer 
Mrs. F. J. Cook, Kilgard 
Mrs. H. A. Christie, nee Mannion 
Mrs. William Dichmont 
J, H. Draney, New Westminster 
C. R. Draney, Ladner 
W. E. Draney 
Frank Draney ' 
Mrs, Charles Draney, Ladner 
Mrs. W. A, Hoskin, nee Russell, Langley 

Hugh McDonald 
Mrs. W. R. W, Mcintosh 
Gus Pearson, Bella Coola 
Mrs. A. G. Wilniut, nee Mannion, Wood- 

stock, Ont, 

Us l Droanii to Tlic Sundw Pmvlnie ami Major Mtt- 
tn™. cltf mtUiIU. Tic utirUt ati«n un» itt 

Here Before the Fire 

*■ "June 13, 1886. 

Many letters complimenting The Sunday 
Province and Major J. S. Matthews, city 
archivist, on the publication of the roll of 
pioneers still living who saw Vancouver b 
fore the great fire of 1886 have been receivi 
i since the scroll of names appeared in oi 
i*sue of June 12 last. "I have been busy eve 
since," writes one old-timer, "corresponding 
with those long forgotten and thought dead." 
"I thank you, in the name of posterity," 
writes a pioneer grandmother. The earliest 
pioneer, Alexander McLean, who arrived on 
Burrard Inlet in 1858, and whose name 
headed the list, passed away in August. 
Thirty additional names, since received, 
: are published below. Photostat copies of the 
complete list, numbering 483 persons, can be 
secured for a nominal sum from W. J, Moore 
Photo Co., 420 West Hastings, 
JJKW — Duncan McDonald, North Vancouver. 
1874— John Flew in, Port Simpson. t%JM 

D. A. McKee, Vancouver. 
1876 — R. John MeDoneli. Stewart, 
.1878 — John A, Murray, Prince Rupert, 
1879 — James I.. Graham. Vancouver. 
1880 — A. Blair sr., Steveston. 

James F. Strang, Vancouver. 
. 1882— Capt. P. H. Johnston, West Vancouver, 

Mrs. G. C. McGown, Vancouver. 

G. C. Smith, Port Haney. 
1883— Mis. A. Blair, nee Hall, Steveston. 

Mrs. A. M. Marshall, Vancouver, 
.-. 1884 — Mrs. Peter Peebles, New Westminster. 
1885— Mrs. H. C. Clarke, nee Campbell. 

Horace A. DuIIamel, Prince Rupert. 

Mrs. Russell Doyle, nee Lougheed, 
Beulah, Man. 

Daniel Lougheed, North Vancouver, 

William J. Lougheed, Vancouver. 

Abraham Lougheed, Cloverdtile. 

William E. Murray, San Pedro, Cal. 

Reeve David W. Poppy, Langley, 
1886— Beaumont Boggs, Victoria, 

T. Fred Clulow, Shushartie Bay, 

J. N. Dawzy, Vancouver. 

.Mis. R. II. Heath, nee Cornish. 

Alex. McLeod, Vancouver. 

George McQueen, Victoria. 
Here before "The Fire" 

F '.-Col. E. Mallandaine, Creston. 

Mrs. Alex. Mowatt, nee Mitchell, 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 66 


the flm IDC SALOOM 

X"fairly good description of the saloon. 

there were dozens of them in Vancouver* 

DNESDAY, APRIL 20, 1932 

The Odd Angle 

The Qld-time Bar 

By F. W, LUCS, 

PROHIBITIONISTS in Washington hare 
opened an old-time saloon u a help 
to temperance Education. It la fitted 
with swinging doors, big mirrors, bright 
lights mahogany bar. bungsttrter, brass 
foot rail, *n' everything. 

It is supposed to be i horrible example 
of the depravity of the days that are so 
more, and a warning that we should not 
lorget the benefits of prohibition. The 
"Drys' are quite satisfied wi J "i their old- 
time bar, but the "Old Soaks*' have yet to 
be heard from. 

There are bottles oh the shelves, bottles 
bearing familiar labels of well -lilted brands* 
but the bottles are empty. They are a 
sham and a mockery. The substance of 
the old -time saloon Is there, but not the 

+ + ' + 
QPEAKING as one *ho had a nodding 

acquaintance with the old-time bar. I 
want to say that it was not wholly a place 
of slh by a long shot. It had its redeem- 
ing features. Mellowed by the pawing of 
years, memories of convivial parties on 
licensed premises bring back many a pleas- 
ant glow* 

I am not competent to compare the 
old-thne saloon with the modern speak- 
easy, I have never been in a speakeasy, 
and I have never tasted synthetic gin* but 
from what I hear, the modern youth who 
sucks at a hip flask and sneaks into stuffy 
blind pigs has never learned to drink hia 
liquor like a gentlemen. He makes a 
shoddy business of what should he a social 

+ + + 
f THE trouble with this synthetic aaloon is 

that It has been but It by men who never 
had any sympathy for the genuine article. 
It may be correct as to scale and perfect 
as regards furnishings, but all ths little 
Intimate touches must be lacking* ' There, 
are definite limits to the abilities of the 
"Drys," if not to their ambitions* 

A gentleman in a white apron imper- 
sonates a bartender in the Washington 
reconstruction. Presumably he Is a ro- 
tund and jovial personage, but* being a 
teetotaler* what a sorry bartender he la 
bound to make! 

What a travesty on the florid Mike of 
long ago, Mike with his oiled and curly 
hair* h is purple moustache , h is eternal 
cigar* his golden amlle that rivalled Jack 
Johnson's, his green tie* his white waist* 
coat, his heavy gold chain* his check socks, 
and his bright yellow shoes. Ah, there was 
truly a bartender! 

The professional prohibitionist does not 
look a bit like that. Ho amount of make- 
up will make hia disguise effective* and no 
studious practice can ever teach him to 
swing a wet towel along the bar in the 
traditional manner. It's a gift denied to 
men who don't drink* 

a * x 


\Tf8 ILE " tnsJ *** true thlt tbs ola *' tlmB 
bartender Invariably gavs the Changs 
to ths wrong customer so that somebody 
would buy another drink as a result of ths 
^argument bound to follow, and sometimes 
.mistook Ills own pocket for the house cash 
: register, nobody minded these foibles. He 
was a good spender, a genial soul, and he 
. had the gift of the patient ear. 

Wo matter how many times he had 
heard a customer's sad tale of woe, the bar* 
tsnder was always willing to llsttn and to 
say "Sure!" or "Tough luck I" at the right 

Unlike prohibitionists, he never com- 
mitted the fatal error of giving a man good 
advice. The most he would do would be 
to urge the fellow to have another drink, 
and he seldom had to repeat the Invitation. 
+ + ■+ 
AVU one on the house r was one of ths 
sweetest suggestions of two decades 
ago. It saved countless parties from break- 
ing up too soon, for Etiquette demanded 
that the "one on the house" should be fol- 
lowed by one on each of the customers, so 
long as they had the cash or their credit 
was good, 

j do not know the prohibitlonst*' equiv. 
alent for "on* on the house," but I doubt 
much If it can. be as popular. When you're 
no* getting any drinks at all. not getting 
another drink may easily pas* unnoticed. 

+ + + 
rpHE formalities of an Introduction were 
not insisted upon In the old-time aa- 
loon. A willingness to drown a thirst ful- 
fllled all social requirements, and a general 
invitation to "belly up to the bar and name 
your 'plsen'" raised a man ace-high for 
the tiros being. There were places where a 
refusal to drink would have been con- 
strued u an Invitation to fight, but on the 
•whole, lights were frowned upon. There 
was always the danger that the big minor 
might get smashed. 

+ + + 
f|KE of the glories of the old-time bar 
^waa the free lunch, though the Ameri- 
cans always excelled ua In that respect.. 
Our hotel proprietors were somewhat timid 
both as regards quantity and variety, and 
kept a calculating eye on the eatables. 

Even In the better places, the free lunch 
was not always adequate to allay the ap- 
petite, but It could always be depended on 
to general* a thirst. Ths base might be 
smoked salmon or pretzels or cheese sand- 
wiches or bologna, but the chief seasoning 
was always salt. 

If the hotel men could have devised a 
salt-lick to take the place of the fret lunch, 
they would have been happy. 

+ + + 
TV r ASHINQTON'S Imitation saloon includea 
a brass rail, and the noble Bishop Can- 
non has bad his photograph taken with his 
foot resting hesvlly on It, aa If the thing 
were an emergency brake. 

The good bishop means well, but he has 
failed utterly to grasp the function of the 
brass rail. The experienced drinker did 
not use it aa a foot scraper or a stirrup. 
Rather, he used It as a barometer of his 
condition. 60 long aa he could stand with 
one foot on the floor and the other resting 
lightly on the brass rail, he Knew it was 
sale for him to "hoist another." 

The "old soak" treated the brats rail 

with reverence. He stroked it gently with 

.his foot, and he did it unconsciously, much 

as one strokes a pet cat, and got much the 

same pleasure out of It. 

No prohibitionist will svsr he able to 
understand that. 

Item# EarlyVan_v2_1 67 


Before the Pale-Face Came 



U* /&*ii-^*i^? C*^£^«^t~«.' flUZ 4tSL* A&£ 

= In terpretation~-Abricl& ed ' 

Mnsqueam . exietdng village -*■ 


Che-ahtun ..... . .a boulder, Legend, Creation 

Ky-oobam * legend, dog'e hotel 

Homulsom . . * Legend, Creti t ion 

Huphapailth place of cedar trees 

Kullakan a boulder. Legend, fence 

Chitehulayuk ..... " Legend, big teintt 

Tss-atsluni ... -i a cool place 

Pookcha ....... f loo-ting sandbar 

Krkohpai a small bay, crabtree 

Eyalino • good camp around 

E-cyalmei another camp ground 

Simsahmiib . ... , . tool stone 

Snauq o' former village 

A iinni ay t sat , . commit suicide 

Kiwahasks «...-■......... two pointe opposite 

Skivarhire .....*........., , deep hole in water 

Smamchuia . a farmer cove 

Ayayulshuit another soft tinder feet 

Ayulshutl . soft under feet 

Staff vrouk . white pipe clay 

Slahkayulsb ..... Legend, "He is standing up 

Chants ........ . His fishing line > 

Sahunz .......... " Hi& wife (kneeling) 

Chaythooa ....... a former village, high bank 

Ahks-rtiu a little lake 

Whoi-Whof a great village, masks 

Pahpe»-8k Brockton Point 

Esttthitahk ,..,.-.,..,.,.. large, pretty house A 

Squtsahs on island 

Chulwhahuleh dry passage 

Fuckahls whitei roekt 

Lucklucky beautiful grove 

Kumkutnlye prove of mapUs 

Chelchnitmup group of boulders 

Iluphahpai place of cedars 

Stcetsemah former village 

ChayehiJwhuk derived from "near" 

Whawhcwhy little place of masks 

Uthkyme ,.......,..- snake slough 

Sahix Ipml 

I'Mhiiflii ,'.. head of bay 

Tlatlimahulk salt water creek 

Homul cheson o farmer fort 

gwywee a lagoon 

Chutai)B> a point 

Smullaoen a bag, "tra.gedy" 

Stuckale a bad smeQ 

Skaywitsut go around point 

Chijlka stone in sling 

Ke«-khaalsum . - gnawing 

Stoaktui reeks "all cut up" 

Chakhai ,.. sizzling noise 

Tu nr bl h paint for face 

EFesyrha ...... .. sheltered waters 

Ulksen "knoll" all Point Grey 

K« y.yowfea Stevestan 

Whykrtsen .... Terra Nova- 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 68 




TFiJfc acknowledgements to many Indians. 

LD Indian say 'I go Ulksen;' young 
Indian say 'I go Vancouver;' all same 
i thing," and then Yahmas (Tim Moody), 
born long ago in the forest hereabouts, 
now venerable Squamish Indian of 
North Vancouver, swept a wrinkled 
palm, across the map from Chit-chul- 
ay-uk to Skwa-yoos (Point Grey to 
Kitsilano Beach). 

"I think may be three thousand, perhaps five thou- 
sand Indians live around Vancouver when Mr. Vancouver 
come," asserts August Kitsilano, only living grandchild 
of Chief Haatsa-Iah-nough, from whose name "Kitsilano" 
is derived. "Whitemans here (Gulf of Georgia) before 
Mr. Vancouver. I was born at Snauq, the old village 
under Burrard bridge ; when I little boy T listen old people 
talk. Old people say Indian see first whitemans up near 
Squamish. When they see first ship they think it an 
island with three dead trees; might be schooner, might 
be sloop; two masts and bowsprit, sails tied up. Indian 
braves in about twenty canoes come down Squamish 
Kiver; go see. Get nearer, see men on island, men have 
black clothes with high hat coming to point at top ; think 
most likely black uniform ; and great collar turned up like 
priest's cowl. Whitemans give Indian ship's biscuit; 
Indian not know what biscuit for. Refore whitemnns 
come Indian have little balls, not very big, roll them along 
ground, shoot at them with bow and arrow for practice, 
teach young Indian so as not to miss deer; just same you 
use clay pigeon, Indian not know ship's biscuit good to 
eat, so roll them along ground like little practice balls; 
shoot at them, break biscuit up." 

"Then whitemans give molasses. Indian rub on leg 
for medicine. You know Indian sit on knees for long time 
canoe ; legs get stiff ; rub molasses on legs make stiff - 
iess not so bad. Molasses stick legs to bottom of canoe, 
Molasses not much good for legs, but my fine old 
ancestors think it good medicine for stiffness; not their 
fault, just mistake; they not know molasses good to eat." 
Then Mr. Kitsilano laughed heartily. 

"Then vegetables. Indian woman gather vegetables, 
dig roots with sharp stick, down deep, sometimes four 
feet, follow root with stick, break off, some very nice for 
eating, some (fern root) make white powder for flour, 
some dry for winter. Oh, lots food those days." 

Vancouver was not just forest, nor empty wilderness, 
a century ago. A populous maritime community, esti- 
mated at one to two thousands families, lived in pictur- 
esque villages peeping from beneath a great green wall of 
trees rising up along the shore in a high serrated pallisade. 
Behind that sinuous line where forest met sea, lay a land 
of mystery and the gods, buried beneath massed foliage, 
the habitat of bear, elk, wolf, beaver; now our home. The 
felling of a tree with blunt stone chisels and round stone 
hammers was the work of days ; the forest giants were 
unconquerable, land trails were few, they "lived" in their 
canoes, Indian life knew sea, beach, and river. They 
were a warm-hearted, law-abiding people of virile men and 
sturdy women of sense, strong, honest, moral and God- 
fearing, whose wisdoms include such proverbs as "a true 
ruler governs by kindness," and "take no notice of a 
barking dog (agitator)." 

The villages, and other landmarks, all bore names; 
one alone survives to be used by English-speaking people ; 
the historic Musqueam on Marine drive, where Fraser, 
after having almost reached the sea in August 1808, wi 
turned back by the threatening Musqueams. 

"Indians have plenty food long ago; not go City Hall 
for meal ticket. But whitemans food change everything. 
Indian not want tea and sugar then ; know nothing about 
it; now must have tea and sugar. Lots meat then ; bear, 
deer, cut up in strips and dry ; no part wasted, not even 
the inside. Clean out the gut, fill him up with something 
good, make sausage, just like whitemans; only head 
Wasted, throw head away. Then salmon ; plenty salmon, 
sturgeon, flounder, trout, lots all sort fish ; some sun dry, 
some smoke dry ; Indian know which best wood for smoke 
dry ; lots crab and clam on beach." 

"Indian woman know how dry berries; dry lots ber- 
ries, just like raisins. Dry them first, then press into 
pancakes, big flat pancakes about three pounds each; 
stack cakes in high pile in house ; when want cook break 
piece off. Elderberry put in sack, you know, Indian sack ; 
put sack in creek so clean water run over them and keep 
Jresh. By and bye, get sack out of creek, take some berry 
out, put sack back again, all same fancy refrigerator. Oh. 
Jots of berries till berries come again. 

"Old Chief Capilano, my gandfather, tell me," sayi 
Ayatak Capilano (Frank Charlie) of Musqueam, aged 
about 80 ; "he see first white man come down river ; come 
from east, just one man. 'Old' Capilano big boy then, just 
so high, bout five feet ; he live to about 100, then die." 

The sudden appearance of a strange human being 
with bleached face upon the river before the fortified 
village of Musqueam must have been a startling event 
for the aborigines of Ulksen (Point Grey). What fol- 
lowed can only be surmised, perhaps much oratory, per- 
chance the tidings flew by fast canoe — and those great 
canoes manned by ten or twenty swarthy paddlers were 
swift: — to the big villages of Eyalmo (Jericho), Whoi- 
Whoi (Lumberman's Arch) and Hamulcheson (Capilano 

What did those villagers think — a century ago. Their 
prophets had foretold that some day a great event would 
happen; that all-powerful gods, gods with prodigious 
powers to rule the elements, to turn people into stone, 
would yet appear, but no sage had foreseen that an enor- 
mous oakwumugh (village), spreading for miles, and 
lumlam (houses), some reaching to the heavens, would 
spring forth like a mystic thing out of the forest; no 
sage had foreseen that the very sites of their homes, their 
villages, would vanish, aye, the very names be forgotten. 

Be seated, at sunrise, in an imaginary "dugout" with 
paddlers in garments of tanned leather as they shoot 
down the North Arm, and skim the waters of English 
Bay to tell of the strange whitef ace ; to herald the doom, 
the end, of an order old even before the birth of Christ, 

West of Musqueam a little creek, well known to 
Marine drive motorists, empties into the Fraser beside 
the double-towered Indian church near a shallow beach. 
Here is Manly, where we push off; we have a long day 
before, us* 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 69 


At Manly "Old" Capflano saw the explorer Fraserj 
there the "old chief" had his first home, the other one 
was at the mouth of the river jvhich bears his name. 
Soon we pass Che-ahtun, a legendary rock, "God send 
him" they say, and also Ky-ooham, the stone dog on the 
shore nearby ; Ky-ooham, the sound of a "dog's howl." 

A mile below Mahly, near the Fraser Monument, 
modern charts show Point-No-Point, a high bluff with 
boulders beneath, but Ayatak says "No, that's Homulsom, 
big domed-shaped rock on beach, bout five feet high, God 
put him there before he made the Indian peoples; God 
send eight men to start the Indian peoples ; bye and bye 
turn them into that big stone. Small boulder beside 
Homulsom, that's bowl in which they wash face." Not 
among whitemans alone was cleanliness next to 
Godliness. * 

To the paddles' measured plash we speed along. High 
above is Huphapailth, now University Hill, the "place of 
cedars" through which for a mile or more the heautiful 
Marine drive winds about through a forest slit; cedar so 
useful for canoes, for walls and roofs of huts, so much 
easier to split with wedges of deer's horn than is fir, so 
soft for undergarments, so fluffy for the lining of infants' 
cradles. Loggers, alas white loggers, will some day find 
that splendid cedar, and then log chutes, !ike ugly gashes, 
will mar that verdant cliff. 

Kullakan flies past, literally "a fence," but what sort 
is now mere conjecture, perhaps a barricade of split cedar 
trees across the narrow lane twixt cliff and sea to baffle 
the stealthy raiders from the north as they creep upon 
stockaded Musqueam. The group of boulders there were 
"playing ball" when they were petrified by the gods. 

Farthest west in all Vancouver stands Chit-chul-ay- 
uk, a great round boulder beneath the masts of the wire- 
less station, biggest rock of all, tip of Point Grey; a step 
from your motor car and, behold, Chitchulayuk on the 
beach below. 

Next is idyllic Kokohpal, "crabapple tree," a pleasant 
grfve of crabapple trees shading a sandy arc of Marine 
anve, wnere, in rapturous bygone days, sprawling Indian 
babes trickled warm sand through tiny fingers whila 
barefoot mothers paddled on the strand, caught smelt, 
and dried them ; alas, Kokohpai no more, but the foreign 
name Locarno, "improved" with ice cream blazonry, and 
fleeting cars go honking by. 

At first it was Eyalmo. Then, In 1860, British tars 
from warships marked it "Indian Huts" upon their 
charts; three years later Corporal Turner, Royal Engi- 
neers, wrote "berry bushes;" when Jerry Rogers logged 
there they called it "Jerry's Cove;" today we call it 
Jericho. But truly the air station is at Eyalmo, "good 
camping ground," and the golf club at E-eyalmo, "anoth 
good camping ground." 


Long years ago, so long that no one knows when, 
Chitchulayuk was an Indian man. Word reached him 
that a great medicine man was coming on a great official 
visit, and being beset with that most vicious of human 
weaknesses, jealousy, he conceived the destruction of the 
great man by making a big wind which would blow the 
great man away. The big wind was in process of crea- 
tion when the g reat man appeared unrecognized, en- 
quired what they were doing, and was told that a great 
man was coming, and they intended to blow him sway. 
In punishment the jealous Indian was turned into stone, 
as a permanent reminder to all — even to whitemans — 
until the last generation, of the folly of jealousy. All 
this is true, well more true than Jack and the Beanstalk, 
for there up to his neck in water still stands Chitchulayuk 
for you to see ; doesn't that prove it ? And the big wind 
still blows at Chitchulayuk. 

The tide is full; as we cross Pookcha, "floating" sand- 
bank — from the appearance as the tide ebbs from the 
northern extremity of Spanish Banks — we hug the shore. 
The great cleft in the eliffside, near the cable hut, below 
the Anglican College, is Tsa-atslum, a "cool place," facing 
north, where on a hot day cool zephyrs blow, and cold 
water comes from the spring; a favored spot for Indian 

Whitemans may scoff — at the primitive home and th» 
simple life, but who of affairs, whose life is a life of 
business and care, would not covet a home beneath tha 
trees of that paradisial park on that sheltered cove be- 
hind the sandbar; the biggest village and the longest 
huts on English Bay, beautiful primeval Eyalmo, the 

We stop for a bite at the potlatch house (clubhouse), 
receive much hospitality, bear steak broiled, and smoth- 
ered in oolichan grease; the Indian housewife's pride ia 
her wooden grease boat and besides, the more "gravy" on 
the steak the greater the honor to the guest. Then on 
again we go. 

At Simsahmula (accent on Sim»h) "tool-sharpening 
stones" (sandstone) a forest creek alive with trout 
crosses Fourth avenue behind the beach (old English Bay 
cannery, Rayswater street). The clam-midden on the 
bank above (Point Grey road) is now a smooth green 

Twenty thousand whitemans swarmed one day last 
summer upon the sands of Kitsilano Beach, once a grassy 
sandbar before a verdant swamp, a little pool; an ever- 
glade all framed about in towering green. Skwayoos ia 
insufficiently sheltered from winter storms for a per- 
manent oakwimugh, but the swarming shoals of smelt in 
summer attract Indian campers. The Gyro Ciub chil- 
dren's playground was once an elk "yard," Sam Greer, in- 
domitable pioneer, shot a wolf beside the present bath- 
honse, muskrats burrowed in the muskeg, salmon strug- 
gled to the pool at Third and Cedar, pioneers potted at 
ducks in Cornwall street slough, or dragged smelts up 
the sand with a garden rake. 

".My father," relates Chil-lah-minst (Jim Franks)' 
born on the famous beach, "have little hut down by cor- 
ner (Yew street). Come down Skwayoos from Squamish, 
bout this time, fall. Lots smelts Skwayoos. Squamish 
peoples come down English Bay get food, smelts, berries ; 
go back Squamish for winter, oh, that long time ago. My 
father's name Chilahminst, too; make canoe Skwayoos; 
all his life make canoe, chisel, chisel, chisel, round stone 
for hammer, then 'burn' -canoe with pitch." 

Ulksen, "knoll or nose" (all Point Grey) is far behind ; 
our phantom canoe enters False Creek — "false" because 
it led nowhere — a narrow marine avenue of gre 
branches lapped, like a tropical lagoon, by the tides. 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 70 


(Continued from Pagt On*.) 
ftrom the heights of Shaugh- 
Bessy once flowed a rill which 
reached False Creek beneath the 
Bnrrard bridge, but forty years or 
more will elapse after our passing 
before the good Chief Chip-kaay- 
an (kind old Chief George) will 
astablish beside it the first Indian 
settlement of Snauq, build a big 
potlateh house, and, in the '70's, 
Invite Rev. C M. Tate, Indian mis- 
•ionary, and Vancouver's guest at 
the opening of the great bridge 
last July, to preach in it. 

Granville Island stands npon an 
•xtensive sandbar — a white pioneer 
once staked that sandbar as a pre- 
emption — where, between two 
converging brush fences several 
hundred feet long fn the water, 
hurdles of vine maple fastened to 
sharpened stakes driven in the 
sandy mud to guide the fish into 
the traps, Indians- trapped quan- 
tities of flounder, herrings, etc. On 
we go, past Arni-mayt-si't (Gamble 
street south) of unhappy omen; 
tome one killed himself there, for 
the word means "commit suicide," 
and then pass through Klwahusks, 
"two points exactly opposite one 
another" (Main street). Across 
this narrow straiwit gave Main 
■treat its location and odd twist— 
the "False Creek Bridge," our first 
bridge, connected Gastown by 
forest trail with Sottth Vancouver. 
To the eastwards Skwa-ehice, "deep 
hole in water," spreads before us. 

"No more Skwachies now," says 
Qu*~yah-Chu!k (Dick Isaacs) aged 
Indian. "They fill him up, make 
C. N. E. yards where we used to 
catch the sturgeon all the time. 
One time great big hole in head of 
False Creek; fresh water come irp 
out of deep hole; come from 
Burnaby Lake by big tunnel. In- 
dian find saltwater seaweed up 
Bnraaby, Lake; it go up tunnel 
from Skwachjce, that's the way 
they tell." Geologists assert that 
False Creek is an old bed of the 
Eraser River, and that seepage 
through gravel from the lake is 
quite possible, 

Indians, and pioneers too, por- 
taged large oanoes from False 
Creek to Burrard Wet across 
Carral! street — to escape the long 
paddle around, and "bucking" the 
tjde of tfc* First Narrow*— but ws 

torn west again to Smam-ehuze, 
a tiny sandbar cove at Howe street 

"Think Smam-chuze little island 
once," say our Indian friends, 
"Little bit of grass and two or 
three erabspple trees on top dry 
part) where Indian put dead man 
in trees so wolf not get him; In- 
dian always put dead man in trees 
so wolf not get him; tide gradu- 
ally wash grass, trees, and graves 
away." Villagers from snauq across 
the creek tied canoes in Smam- 
ehuz before taking trail through 
forest across our city to Hastings 
Mill; a schooner' anchored in 
Smamchuie in 1902, is still there, 
but on dry land beside the railway 

The famous English Bay was 
still Ay-yul-sbun, "soft under 
feet," Indian barefeet, when in 
1862 its soft white sand so charmed 
Johp Morton, our first settler, that 
he pre-empted it. Ay-ay-yul-shuM, 
"another soft under foot" place 
was a short strip of sand at the 
foot of Broughton street, Indian 
blankets were woven from moun- 
tain goat's fur, then powdered with 
"staitwouk," a clay substance 
gathered at the creek mouth at 
Staitwouk— hence the name (Sec- 
ond Beach) roiled into loaves and 
roasted before a fire to turn it 
white as chalk with which to dust 
the blankets for whitening. 

Slah-kay-uleh, accent on "kay" 
(Siwaeh Rock) means "he is stand- 
ing up." He (the rock) was an 
Indian fisherman before he was 
turned into stone by the gods; one 
of his petrified wives is just be- 
hind him; the other wife, Sahunz, 
"kneeling woman" is a low rock 
on the shore beside the steps down 
tho cliff from Prospect Point. 
Chants, that is Siwash Rock's fish- 
ing line rolled into a ball and also 
petrified into a big stone, is be- 
tween Slahksytilsh and his wife 
Sabuns; the great hole In the cliff 
abova is their kitchen and where 
Chants, the fishing tackle, was 

"Ton see, it was this way," says 
Chil-ah-roinst, "three great men, 
very powerful, go all the way 
round the world making it: I think 
one man make the world, but 
others say three. If great man find 
poor people they teach them, help 
them, so they no more poor; if 
they find people too smart they 
say *you go bad place (hell), we 
not trouble about you.' That's how 
Siwash Rock, came where he is; 

Squt-sahsjanisland' ,now Daadmans Island, sacred to 
both races; the Indead dead rested high in fir 
branches; our pioneers beneath the roots. 
Chul-whah-ulch,(Lost Lagoon) 'gets dry at times', 
when the tide goes out, Puckahls,(C.P.R.5tation) 
means 'white rocks', large smooth sheets of light 
gray shale beneath the 'Bluffy the remains still 
show beside the cliff near the Marine Bldg. 
To the Indians Stanley Park was fhoi-Whoi, and 
Brockton Point was Paa-pee-akf> 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_171 

too smart; powerful men turn hir 
into rock so other people see "" 
much good be too smart," 

Smile not. Before the whiteman 
smilEb he must first explain hov. 
Lot's wife was turned into a pillar 
of salt, no less an achievement 
than the turning of Slahkayulsb, 
the fisherman, into a column of 
rock, or the "Mother of AH 
Indians," i.e.. Mount Baker, into a 
mountain of snow. 

At Chay-thoos, "high bank" 
(Project Point) is a grassy clear- 
ing where the Capilano water pipe 
enters Stanley Park. Here Chief 
Haatsa-lah,nougb (Kitsiiano), 
most recent holder of that historic 
name, lived, died, and was buried 
with pomp about 1880. Hay-tulk 
(Supplejack) his ton, died there 
too, and lay in state in a mauso- 
leum of reeds and red blankets. 
Stanley Park is largely ancient 
graveyard. The remains of Haatsa- 
zah-nough and Haytulk were ex- 
humed when the park driveway 
was cut; both now rest at Squa- 
misb, and August Kitsiiano, the old 
chief's grandson, is head of the 

^Hhaatsa-zsh-nough, so tradition 
says, is the ancient name of the 
Squamish chief, who centuries ago 
visited English Bluff, Point Rob- 
erts, with his wife. Whilst there 
a woman broke the moral code; 
desertion by the entire clan was 
the punishment decreed; all left, 
Haatsalahnoagh with the others. 
"Where shall we go" said Haat- 
salahnough to his wife, and then 
added "Oh, I know good place, 
plenty deer, beaver, duck, lots 
salmon, plenty food, good cedar." 
And so Haatsalahnough came to 
Snauq (Kitsiiano Indian Reserve). 
But the Baatsalahnough known 
to whitemen— he had no English 
name— came from the Squamish 
River with Ms brother Chief Chip- 
kaay-am in the early nineteenth 

century. Chip-haay-am went to 
SSneuq where he built a village 
from split cedar slabs. Chief 
Hsatsalahnough went to Chay- 
thoos, Stanley Park; it is after this 
chief, not the legendary one, that 
our beautiful suburb is named. 

Almost thirty years ago, our 
pioneer postmaster, the late Jon- 
athan Miller, was invited by the 
Canadian Pacific Railway to fur- 
nish a name for a subdivision of 
land about Greer's Beach; he in- 
voked Professor Hill-Tout's pro- 
found knowledge of Indian mat- 
ters. The professor chose atid 
anglicised the name to "Katesee- 
lano," they kept the name but 
changed the spelling. 

Ahka-chu, little lake," is Beaver 
Lake in Stanley Park. 

Historic Whoi-TVhoi ( Lumber- 
mans Arch) ; countless thousands 
of prehistoric men have lived, 
loved, laughed, and died at Whoi- 
WhoL They left behind a huge 


In more recent times, the populous village — about 700 in 1862 — 
Whoi-Whoi has seen many a potlaeh festival — over 2000 eat down to 
one feast within memory of whiteman; there were made the first masks 
for ceremonial dances; an Indian apartment house one hundred feet long 
and forty wide near the Lumbermans Amh was demolished to permit the 
driveway to pass. To the Indians Stanley faric was Whoi-Whoi, and 
Brockton Point was paa-pee-ak 

(omitted from the published account) 

famed Steetseraah, celebrated 
Indian fishing resort. Chay-chil- 
wuk (Seymour Creek) is derived 
from "near or narrow," perhaps 
means "Narrows;" then comes 

shell he*p eight feet deep and 
acres in extent; it furnished white 
shell surfacing for nine miles of 
our first ' park driveway. Who 
were they? 

"More romantic and historical 
than any place in all Vancouver," 
asserts Qottchetahl {Andrew PauU) 
descendant fifth in line from the 
heroic Qoitchetahl, the serpent 
slayer of Squamish. "As your 
great explorer, Vancouver, pro- 
gressed through the First Nar- 
rows, our people threw, in greeting 
before him, clouds of snow white 
eiderdown feathers which rose, 
wafted in the air aimlessly about, 
then fell, like flurries of snow, to 
the water's surface, and rested 
there like white rose petals scat- 
tered before a bride; it must have 
been a pretty welcome." 

Capt. Vancouver, in recounting 
his reception, records "Here we 
were met by about fifty canoes," 
"these good people," "showed much 
understanding," "conducted them- 
selves with great decorum and 
civility." "Our new friends soon 
returned, made presentations, and, 
if possible, expressed additional 
cordiality and respect," No won- 
der Capt. Vancouver wrote "these 
good people." 

We call it Water street; old- 
timers call it "Gastown;" the 
Indians called it "grove of beauti- 
ful trees." A grove of light green 
maples, of which no doubt the 
famous "Maple Tree" was one, 
clustered before a crescent of 
taller, darker firs about a beach 
washed by wavelets; a rapturous 
emerald setting with a promising 
name, Lueklucky, our city's birth- 

"The Maple Trees" (Kumkora- 
lye) grew in profusion at Hastings 
Sawmill; at Chet^chail-mun (sugar 
refinery — meaning unknown) seals 
flopped to the summits of a group 
of huge boulders, basked in the 
sun, and slithered down again to 
the water. Huphapai , "cedars," 
was once Cedar Cove to whites, 
now gone; a little cove and creek 
at the foot of the hill on Powell 

Beyond the Second Narrows 
bridge is an old channel of Sey- 
mour Creek, liow dryi this it the 

Whawhewhy, "little place where 
masks were made," Kwa-hul-cha 
(Lynn Creek), and next Uth-kyme, 
"pond of snakes," a slough crossed 
by a concrete bridge near the Low 
Level road. "Lots snakes there one 
time; when whitemans come they 
all go away." The bold headland 
above old Moodyville is Sahix, "a 
point or cape." A few yards east 
of the ferry landing at North 
Vancouver is Es-tahl-tohk, "a 
large pretty house is built there," 
Ust-lawn, "head of bay" is the 
pretty name of the North Van- 
couver Indian Reserve, and Tlath- 
mahulk, "saltwater creek," enters 
Burrard Inlet at the foot of Pera- 
berton avenue. 

Little portholes through which 
to shoot arrows at their foes were 
cut in the thick cedar sides of 
Indian homes at Homulelieson, the 
stronghold at the mouth of the. 
Capilano River. In the fortress of 
split cedar trees was imprisoned, 
according to the aged Haxten, now 
over 100, the captured Indian 
noblewoman Kokohaluk. Then the 
stockade, temporarily undefended, 
was suddenly assaulted by her 
northern compatriots, the fortress 
burned, the lady rescued. A bloody 
fight with bow and arrow on the 
rocks near Skaywitsut (Point 
Atkinson) followed; the valorous 
Skwalocktun alone survived, the 
Squamish canoes smashed, the re- 
tirement of the northern warriors 
to bury theiT slain at Gibsons 
Landing, Paytsamauq's declara- 
tion — be was the Squamish warrior, 
brother of "old" Capilano— the 
journey north, the restoration of 
Kokohaluk to hor adoring Squa- 
rish husband, and the making of 
peace. Haxten saw the slain cov- 
ered with mats lying in the wild 
gooseberry bushes at Gibsons. 

Capilano was not the name of a 
river, but of "Old" Chief Capilano; 
in early days it was spelt vari- 
ously as Kahpillahno and Kiapil- 

Between the river and the ferry 
landing is Swy-wee, a salt-water 
lagoon winding towards the for- 
mer beaver dams; the name is pre- 
sumed to be a corruption of swai- 
wee (oolichans) or candle fish, so- 
called because used when dried 
for torche*. 

Chut-aum is Navvy J*ek*» Point, 
near Navvy Jack's home, the first 
in West Vancouver. Next cornel 
"tragedy," Snrallaqua, West Bayf 
something terrible happened tier* 
some disaster, perhaps warfart 
and many warriors killed. Stuek- 
ale {Great Northern Cannery) J*" 
pleasant enough to the ear, but" 
suggests a "horrible smell," prob-. 
ably a skunk's paradise. Skunk 
Cove (Caulfield) is nearby. At 
Skaywitsut, accent on "Skay," we 
"go around point" (Point Atkin- 
son), enter Eye-scyebe "sheltered, 
waters" (Howe Sound), and com*, 
to Chulks, "stone in sling.". 

It appears that when the gods: 
were fixing the geography of the 
earth, Mount Garibaldi, about 
forty miles from Chulks, waa ad- 
Judged too high; It was decided to 
lower it by knocking the top off; 
a huge boulder was flung at it. As 
the all-powerful thrower waa 
twirling sling and stone around 
and around bis head to attain th» 
necessary force and speed, a slave 
accidentally touched the thrower's 
arm and spoiled his aim — some 
say the sling touched a raven's 
wing. Anyway, the stone — It 
weighs several tons— missed the 
mountain end landed at . Chulks 
(Kew Beach), where it can be seen 
to this day in a crevasse facing 

The bear and deer earns ta 
spring tt> nibble and gnaw the ten-, 
der grass and budt at Eagle Har- 
bor, or Kee-khaal-sum, "gnawing 
by animals." Stoak-tux (Fisher- 
man's Cove) is "all cot up," an 
allusion to the fluted formation 
of the rocks. Chah-kai (Horse- 
shoe Bay) is thought to refer to 
the 'How sibling noise," similar 
to frying bacon, made by shoals 
of smelt at night. Oar women- 
folk buy their vanity at drug, 
stores; the Indian maidens got 
theirs at Tumbth, "red paint for 
faces," a little further north, and. 
more graciously than ours, shared - 
' it with her warrior. 

Goodbye. Our tour is over; the 
long summer's day is closing. Far 
to the eastward the intrepid 
Fraser in his lonely canoe is speed- 
ing eastwards to the "Old World;" 
we vanish whence we came and 
our true friends, as many a pio- 
neer well knows, our tired Indian 
companions, turn again home to 
their sunny Mnssueeat, 

ltem# EarlyVan_v2_1 72 


St. Mark's Church (Anglican), Kitsilano. 

W.J. Wenmoth, letter from Anyox, B.C., 8 December 1931 

History of St. Mark's Church, Kitsilano: 

How often it happens that the dissensions in a church are by the Grace of God, turned to good 
account, and cause a spreading of the work. 

In 1 906 Holy Trinity Church at the corner of 7 th Ave. and Pine, now on the corner of 1 th and Pine 
[old church is now Orange Hall] was the only Anglican church west of Granville Street. The parish 
extended from Kitsilano Beach to the Fraser River, and from Granville Street to Point Grey. 

There was trouble in Holy Trinity; financially, of course. The stipend had not been paid in full for 
many months, and now it was proposed to increase the stipend to enable the rector to buy the 
house in which he was living. At a hurried-up meeting in the Rector's house, it was said the 
proposal was adopted. But it caused considerable dissatisfaction, and fourteen good families 
withdrew from Holy Trinity. 

The next year the Rev. William Tuson came on a visit to West Fairview. [West Fairview: a name 
applied to the area west of Granville Street to Trafalgar Street before the name Kitsilano became 
common. JSM 1933.] Mr. Tuson was a superannuated clergyman of the Episcopal Church of the 
United States; he came from Spokane, Wash. He was accompanied by his wife and three 
children, Will, Nettie and Ada. Mrs. Tuson had a very prepossessing appearance and a lovely 
nature. She impressed everybody with her amiability, and unfailing good nature; she was an ideal 
wife for a clergyman. Nettie had her mother's good looks, but both girls were quiet and shy. After 
his serious illness here, Rev. W. Tuson returned to Spokane where he shortly afterwards died. 
Nettie is married and living in Nevada, and has now two children. Ada is still at home with her 

Mr. Tuson came to that particular part of West Fairview [corner of First and Maple] because he 
had four brothers living around that section. Naturally he called on the rector of Holy Trinity, and 
Mr. Tuson gave out that he had the consent of the rector to start a mission. The building on the 
corner of First and Maple was put up by the Tusons. Mr. Tuson approached some of those who 
had withdrawn from Holy Trinity, amongst whom were Messrs. Acheson, F. Bentley, G. Blakely, 
Cawsten, Esten, and W.J. Wenmoth. They were a little doubtful at first as to Mr. Tuson's 
standing. He showed no written permission from the rector of Holy Trinity, and he had no license 
from the Bishop of New Westminster. But when the building was up, and the opening service 
commenced, some of those who had not heard the old service for months came forward, and the 
little hall was well filled. Mr. Tuson used the Anglican prayer book. Mrs. Tuson was at the small 

Naming of St. Mark's. 

During the following week a meeting was held to name the church. St. Stephen's was mentioned, 
and St. Nicholas'. Mrs. W.J. Wenmoth suggested St. Mark's. The last church they had attended in 
the Old Country was in Bush Hill park, north of London, and it was doing very successful work 
among the men and boys of a densely populated district. This church was called St. Mark's, and it 
might be a good omen to call this church the same name. A vote was taken. St. Nicholas got one 
vote, St. Stephen's four, and St. Mark's fourteen. 

A meeting was called to formally hand over the mission to Christ Church. There were present the 
Ven. Archdeacon Pentreath, the Rev. C.C. Owen, rector of Christ Church, Messrs. Bently, Esten, 
Cawsten, and W.J. Wenmoth. 

The Archdeacon asked Mr. Owen if Christ Church was willing to take charge of the Mission. Mr. 
Owen replied, "I haven't been asked yet." The Archdeacon began, "Well, if I — ," when Mr. Owen 
cut in with, "It must come from the congregation, Mr. Archdeacon." As people's warden, Mr. W.J. 
Wenmoth, on behalf of the congregation, then formally asked Mr. Owen to take charge of St. 
Mark's. Then Mr. Owen relied, "With your permission, Mr. Archdeacon, I shall be glad to do so." 
Mr. Owen gravely shook hands with all present. 


And thus the little orphan church found a mother. 

Letter, W.J. Wenmoth, Anyox, 24 November 1931. 

I have put in [above] how the mission came to be handed over to Christ Church. You cannot call 
Mr. Tuson a "rector of St. Mark's." 

I always had charge of the Sunday school, and continued to do so after Christ Church took it 
over. I cannot understand how Holy Trinity [overlooked in a preparatory sketch of the history of 
St. Mark's submitted to Mr. Wenmoth for correction] has been overlooked. We were in its parish 
all the time; we knew it, and were not allowed to forget it. 

The few times that Mr. Gilbert took the services we had not been taken over by Christ Church, 
and when Mr. Owen did take charge, Mr. Sovereign and Mr. Day took it in turns to take the 
services. H.J. [Gilbert] may have taken the evening servi